Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Foreign Assistance Reform Bill Introduced by Berman and Kirk

I'm going out of my mind with excitement about this one, everybody! MARK KIRK INTRODUCED A FOREIGN ASSISTANCE BILL I'VE LOBBIED HIS OFFICE ON!!!!! Yeah! My Bread for the World church wrote him letters, my RESULTS group wrote him letters and went into his district office to lobby his district aide, I talked to his DC aide on the phone...and now I see how all this pays off when we have the big guns out in DC working their end. I honestly did not expect to see any movement on this until much later. I'm feeling really great doing my little part in this movement to push this big Foreign Assistance ship around. Thanks to everyone taking me on this journey with you!

Gotta go...lotsa work to do still...starting with a thank you letter to Congressman Kirk and a call to his aide!

Here's the scoop from Bread for the World today....
Bread for the World President Pushes for Support, Co-Sponsorship of New Foreign Aid Reform Bill

Washington, DC, April 29, 2009 –Rev. David Beckmann, president, Bread for the World, and co-chair, Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN), today urged members of the House of Representatives to pass the Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act of 2009 (H.R. 2139).

The bill was introduced last night by Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA-28), chairman of the House foreign Affairs Committee and Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL-10). It requires President Barack Obama to develop and implement a comprehensive national strategy for global development, improve evaluation of development programs, and increase the transparency of U.S. foreign assistance to developing countries.

“It is a good initial step in making our nation’s foreign assistance more effective, efficient, and transparent,” said Rev. Beckmann. “Coordinating and improving our foreign assistance can have far-reaching effects on reducing hunger and poverty, making the world more politically stable. In turn, a more effective U.S. foreign assistance system would make for a more secure United States.”

Rev. Beckmann said that a comprehensive U.S. strategy for global development needs to be linked to an ongoing monitoring and evaluation system to determine what works and what does not. Requiring any agency that provides funding to post related information on a public website or other public forum will bring increased transparency and accountability to the people being served by these programs and to U.S. taxpayers.

Currently, U.S. global development policies and programs are scattered across 12 departments, 25 different agencies, and nearly 60 government offices. “In these difficult economic times, a more efficient foreign assistance system—with better coordination, better accountability, better clarity—will ensure that people get help faster and more effectively,” said Rev. Beckmann.

U.S. foreign assistance is still largely governed by a law passed in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy. “It is woefully outdated, inefficient, and ill equipped to provide the level of relief needed to address hunger and poverty in today’s more complex world,” said Rev. Beckmann. “U.S. foreign assistance has helped reduce child deaths, improve agricultural capacity, and increase school enrollment. But more lives can be saved if we improve how we deliver foreign aid. It will mean less waste and more impact for our tax dollars.”

1 comment:

DorotheeRH said...

Hi, I really enjoy your blog. I'm also based in Chicago but right now I'm helping a great nonprofit called the Mississippi Center for Justice spread the word about their anti-poverty campaign "Standing With Mississippi": They have a petition urging the Governor of Mississippi to set aside partisan politics and accept Obama's stimulus package in light of the fact that poverty is a major problem in that state.
Right now, Gov. Barbour is deliberating about this issue and is expected to make a decision soon so anything we can do to put pressure on him and shed light on this issue would be helpful. Perhaps you could share with your readers in a blog post?