As the U.S. faces more and more threats from overseas, it’s critical that we remain engaged throughout the world to promote our economy and our national security. Last week, Ambassador Mark Green, head of the agency responsible for U.S. development programs, appeared before the committee to discuss vital efforts to:

Feed the starving

Chairman Royce: “This isn’t just about saving money…it’s about saving lives. …It is sad, it’s unacceptable, that our food aid program could not provide food when and where it was needed most. And this is why we must reform. So we’ve introduced legislation to fix Food for Peace.”

Administrator Green: “We obviously support goals of flexibility… We always support efforts to make our dollars go as far as they can.”

Cut off terrorist funding by combating wildlife trafficking

Administrator Green: “This is not simply about biodiversity, as important as that is to all of us; it is about preventing the fuel for organized crime, and other nefarious elements. Wildlife trafficking has grown into the fourth most lucrative form of transnational organized crime. So it is a high priority for us for a number of reasons.”

Respond to ethnic cleansing in Burma

Rep. Wagner: “Burma is perpetuating ethnic cleansing, as we know likely genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State – and is refusing entry to aid workers.”

Administrator Green: “Obviously, at a minimum, we are calling upon Burma to provide unfettered access to the Rohingya communities so that we can take a look at the plight and see what can be done to lift some of the suffering. And also, quite frankly, it’s to begin to investigate the atrocities. I worry about what we’re seeing, as you’ve pointed to, and it’s happening on our watch. The suffering is enormous.”

End modern day slavery

Administrator Green: “Human trafficking is a global human rights tragedy. It’s also a fundamental development challenge. So we look at it from both perspectives. It is protection of victims, it is prosecution of perpetrators, it is prevention through awareness building and it’s also services in terms of counseling and the tremendous suffering that these individuals go through and helping them to recover. So those are the most important steps that we do in our anti-trafficking work.”


Move countries from aid to trade to help grow America’s economy

Rep. Yoho: “The president’s budget calls for creation of a new development finance institution that helps use more modern tools. How will the new development finance institution support the goal of transitioning…countries off U.S. assistance? …What are your thoughts on a new development finance institution?”

Administrator Green: “I certainly support the goals, the concept. We want to move towards private-enterprise-driven development. We recognize that countries are in different places in their journey to self-reliance.  …I think the tools of a DFI are important. I think it can help stimulate growth.”

Keep America safe

Administrator Green: “We are a large part of the national security strategy that’s been published. We help to take on the conditions that can easily be exploited by extremists – part of our work in preventing violent extremism. Secondly, we tackle conditions that could lead to global pandemics and try to attack them at their source. Third, in places where we’ve seen success on the battlefield – places like northern Iraq and in Syria – we work very closely, hand in glove, with DoD to help stabilize those regions [and] restore essential services so that they can begin to do the hard work of repairing their communities and their leadership.”