Remarks for Acting Deputy Administrator Barsa World Food Programme Executive Board Session

Speeches Shim

Monday, November 16, 2020

[Remarks As Prepared]

Hello everyone. I’m glad to be here for this discussion. I appreciate the dialogue today and know that it reflects a great deal of work that’s already underway.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States strongly endorses collaboration among all of the organizations represented here today, and we welcome this discussion. Humanitarian needs are at an all-time high, and we need new partnerships and ways of doing business to rise to the challenge.

USAID has been taking the challenge of strengthening the linkages between humanitarian, development, and peace programming seriously. We’ve done this through the way we partner and through changes to government-wide and internal USAID structures.

USAID is proud to be working to forge new partnerships in order to leverage international expertise and share financial burden in these extraordinary times. For example, through our Humanitarian Grand Challenge—a partnership with the development ministries and offices of the UK, Netherlands, and Canada—USAID established a $32.5 million fund. This fund will attract private investment towards humanitarian outcomes by providing seed money and transition-to-scale funding.

In addition, the U.S. Government is integrating its policy, diplomatic, and programmatic response efforts in select countries through our Global Fragility Strategy. The Strategy brings together development, humanitarian, conflict prevention, and other resources to maximize impact.

Through USAID’s own organizational transformation, we have led by example in breaking down silos and better integrating our programming. For example, we used this process to create a new family of bureaus focused on coordinating across the Agency’s work in humanitarian assistance, resilience, and conflict prevention.

Before I conclude, I would like to pose two questions to the panelists. First—in light of increasing humanitarian needs, what are your views on how to best balance emergency requirements with programs aimed at building longer-lasting change?

Second—I’ll draw attention to the fact that all of today’s distinguished guests represent public-sector or international organizations. What role do you envision for the private sector in achieving the goals you have articulated today?

I’d like to thank the World Food Programme for hosting this panel and to everyone present for today’s discussion. USAID looks forward to continuing this conversation in the future.