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CGD Policy Blogs


African Union police officers on patrol in Mogadishu. Photo by Stuart Price / AU UN Photo

A Promising US Fragile States Strategy is Taking Shape, but Key Questions Remain

Earlier this month, bipartisan coalitions in the House and Senate introduced legislation to improve the coordination of US government efforts to tackle the root causes of state fragility and violent extremism. If the bills advance, the House and Senate will need to reconcile a few key differences, related to funding levels; which funds to establish; and how to select focus countries, among other things. There are also some bigger picture questions that Congress and the implementing agencies will need to grapple with as the legislation (hopefully) moves forward.

A table showing the change in PEPFAR funding across different budget requests and budgets

With Budget Cuts Looming Again, Can PEPFAR Keep the Gas on its Acceleration Strategy?

PEPFAR has long enjoyed bipartisan support on the Hill. Yet, it has not been spared from significant cuts in President Trump’s latest budget request for foreign aid. It is noteworthy that this administration’s three successive budget requests have proposed increasingly large cuts to PEPFAR’s funding. If past is prelude, a cut of this magnitude is unlikely to materialize in any final spending bill.

Ambassador Deborah Birx speaking at CGD. Photo by Kaveh Sardari

PEPFAR’s New Targets for Local Implementation: Commendable in Theory, Complicated in Practice

In July, United States Global AIDS Coordinator Deborah Birx made a striking commitment: under her leadership, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) would direct at least 40 percent of its funding to host country governments or organizations by the end of 2019—rising to 70 percent by the end of 2020. The bottom line: PEPFAR’s local targets are commendable in theory, but we suspect their application in practice will prove complicated. Below is our take on the related issues—and some recommendations for PEPFAR to forge the most effective path forward.