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Public Policy Update 5-10-13 0

Public Policy Update 5-10-13 0

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Published by InterAction

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Published by: InterAction on May 10, 2013
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Both the House and Senate apphearings on FY2014 appropriatithe 302b allocations, which set tand Senate lawmakers will writeallocation as early as next weekRepublicans will start bringing F(members of either party can off 
Congressional Budget Justificati 
that pertains to our community).released in the next week or twopresident’s FY2014 budget requ
Senate Committee on AppropriWitness:
Rajiv Shah,
administratoOpening Statements:
Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT
USAID’s budget is aboutin the world, and projecti
There shouldn’t be an ar 
Worried that U.S. may nhumanitarian assistance
Many of the govethe causes of pov
Need greater capcapacity is used
Need to rethink wprohibitive.
Ranking Member Lindsey Gra
Foreign assistance is 1%
Every time we can solve1
ropriations committees are wrapping up their inins. The next big step in the process will be thehe overall funding levels for each of the spendi. There are conflicting reports, but the House mwith the Senate to follow. It is being reported th2014 appropriations bills to the floor in June uer amendments). Last week, the State Departm
on Volume 1: Department of State Operations
(We have heard that
Volume 2: Foreign Operati 
. These justifications will provide further detailest.
HEARING SUMMARIESon FY2014 Budget Request for USAID
tions – Subcommittee on State, Foreign OperaProgramsMay 7, 2013r, USAID
protecting the American people, ensuring U.S.g American ideals.ument about the importance of these accountt be doing as good of a job at providing develoas it should.rnments that USAID works with are not seriouserty.acity building of foreign NGOs; concerned that ls justification to continue current foreign aid buhat U.S. can accomplish in warzones where se
am (R-SC)
of the entire budget.a problem without using the military is a positivitial subcommitteeannouncement of g bills the Houseay announce itsat Houseder open rulesent put outthe first volume
will bebout thetions, and Relatedability to compete.ment andabout addressinglack of localsiness model.curity costs arefor U.S.
Rajiv Shah
This is an important moment for development as U.S. draws down from a decade of war.
165,000 children under the age of 5 died during the Somali famine; could the internationalcommunity have done better?
There is an opportunity to craft a new development approach – can be seen through Feedthe Future program.
U.S. is working with 170 countries to end preventable child deaths.
USAID prioritize a results-oriented approach to education and water programs.
All of these programs are shaped by USAID Forward reforms:
Rebuilding/repositioning staff to where they are needed most;
Bringing about greater transparency and evaluation; and
Directing more resources to local solutions.
Signature reform for FY2014 budget is food aid.Questioning:
(Note: Some senators came in late, so they gave their statements during the questioning period;bullets indicate statements, numbers indicate questions.)
Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
1. How many more people could we feed by doing away with monetization? How many morethrough local/region purchase of food?
In total, 4 million more people will receive food aid.
Food aid used to reach 90 million people, but is now down to half of that;this trend will probably continue.2. Under the current system, there are millions who don’t get food at all, correct? What aboutthe issue of branding?
When buying local food, put it in U.S. branded bags so that people clearlyrecognize that the food comes from the American people.
U.S. can reach beneficiaries 14 weeks faster through local and regionalprocurement.3. How do you calculate shipping costs saved?
Transport on ocean freight (18%) and transport from port to country (7.5%)equal about 25% of the program funding spent on transportation.4. How does this compare to local/regional food purchase costs?
There are still some costs to transport locally/regionally but it is about 20-25% cheaper in total with local/regional procurement.
USAID knows this through actual programmatic experience withInternational Disaster Assistance account.5. So for the same amount, USAID is feeding more hungry people?
Absolutely. And a strong partnership will remain with U.S. agricultureinterests, as 55% of the program will still purchase food from U.S. farmerswhile feeding 4 million more.
36. What about maritime jobs?
Proposal has included maritime support program funding increase.
All but eight or 10 of the ships currently being used would benefit fromchanges. There are about 300 employees on these ships (15,000 people intotal industry base).
Expect that these ships will have other business opportunities that they canpursue so have no estimates for job losses given these opportunities.7. What are some lessons learned from aid programs in Iraq and Afghanistan?
USAID learned to demand more of in-country partners, particularly governments,earlier in the process. Conditionality and demanding partnership approach isimportant.
Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE)
That was a good point about issues of inefficiencies, especially during crises.
On the other hand, one of the reasons there has been so much support for food aid is thesupport from the agriculture community (humanitarian and economic reasons for support);maritime community support as well.
Worried that if food aid becomes a cash program, it will become another piece of thebudget that will be cut.
When it comes to foreign food aid, think there is bipartisan support for this and anunderstanding that it shouldn’t be cut.
This proposal is going to be impossible to get done.1. There is a case to be made here but don’t want to cut U.S. farmers and producers out of the picture. Willing to work across the aisle to come up with an idea that is acceptable tothe administration without cutting out the U.S. farmer. This could include better prepositioning.
About 15% of the gains in efficiency come from ending monetization, and 85%come from greater flexibility in emergency response. Flexibility is crucial to respondto needs.
Yes, USAID needs to renew the partnership with USDA and U.S. agriculture.National Farmers Union and others have come out in favor of this approach.
Capacity to do things like prepositioning has come to its limit. 10% of program isused for prepositioning, but USAID doesn’t have capacity or resources (moreexpensive to get product mix right many years in advance) and it’s very difficult todo more.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)
When Food for Peace was created, it was meant to send agriculture surpluses to peoplewho are suffering around the world (good for all).
Shah is suggesting that U.S. should step back now and see where the program standstoday.
In Djibouti, U.S. gave some flexibility about what vessels the products could be shippedon.
Overall shipping costs cut by 40% when shipped on non-U.S. ships.
U.S. ships also brought costs down.

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