Washington, DC – Congressman Howard L. Berman (D-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, joined President Obama in making foreign aid reform a priority in alleviating poverty and strengthening U.S. national security.
"I welcome President Obama's powerful speech at the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit, and his recognition that development is 'not only a moral imperative, but a strategic and economic imperative.' His bold commitment to United States global leadership in international development rests on a clear understanding that the purpose of development is 'creating the conditions where assistance is no longer needed.'
“The Policy Directive the President signed yesterday echoes many of the themes and approaches of the foreign aid reform effort being undertaken by my committee. These include elevating and strengthening the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), underscoring the importance of country ownership and responsibility, improving coordination among U.S. government agencies and between the U.S. and other donors, expanding multilateral capabilities, leveraging more private resources, and setting in place rigorous procedures to evaluate the impact of policies and programs.
“Development assistance not only helps people to meet their basic needs and provide for their families, but also creates opportunities to expand markets for U.S. goods and services. It strengthens our national security by ameliorating the conditions under which conflict, lawlessness and extremism often flourish.
“I look forward to working with the Administration to turn these principles into legislation that will maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of United States foreign assistance.”