Submitted by Oxfam America
March 17, 2009 (WASHINGTON): Leaders from diverse communities today sent an open letter to President Obama and Congressional leaders urging them to "make modernization of our foreign assistance programs a priority"¦ [and] make global development a co-equal pillar of U.S. foreign policy alongside defense and diplomacy."
In a statement prepared for the letter's release, MFAN Co-Chairs David Beckmann and Steve Radelet said: "President Obama, his foreign policy advisors, and Congressional leaders deserve recognition for their unprecedented commitments to elevating global development as a tool of U.S. foreign policy, and the signatories of this letter pledge support for that effort. The Obama Administration and key supporters in Congress clearly recognize that to address the urgent challenges we face abroad and restore America's global reputation as a leader, we must strengthen U.S. efforts to alleviate poverty, fight disease, create opportunity, and foster sustainable security in the developing world. To do this as strategically and effectively as we must at this time of economic crisis, it is critical that we modernize our outdated foreign assistance system. Today, that system is not as coordinated and efficient as it could be because too many agencies oversee too many programs, and we lack both an overall global development strategy and up-to-date legislation to organize our efforts and maximize their impact."
Signatories of the letter include:
Forty percent of the people on our planet -- more than 2.5 billion -- now live in poverty, struggling to survive on less than $2 a day. Oxfam America is an international relief and development organization working to change that. Together with individuals and local groups in more than 90 countries, Oxfam saves lives, helps people overcome poverty, and fights for social justice. To join our efforts or learn more, go to www.oxfamamerica.org.
More from Oxfam America