Congressional Testimony

Speeches Shim

Tuesday, 4 August, 2020


Chairman Risch, Ranking Member Menendez, and Distinguished Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: Thank you for the opportunity to testify on behalf of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). It is an honor to be here with you today. USAID is grateful for your ongoing, bipartisan support for our work in Latin America and the Caribbean, and especially our response to the Venezuela regional crisis.

Eighteen months ago, the Trump Administration, along with nearly 60 other governments around the globe, recognized Juan Guaidó as the legitimate and legal Interim President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in accordance with the Venezuelan Constitution. President Trump recognized Guaidó’s interim presidency on January 23, 2019. The United States and the international community based our swift recognition of Guaidó upon respect for the rule of law.

Thursday, 30 July, 2020

Looking long term, we understand that COVID-19 will continue to have multiple effects in the months and years ahead.  We remain committed to working with governments, civil society, faith-based organizations, academia, and the private sector in our African partner countries through this pandemic, now and into the future.  No other nation can match our unparalleled generosity, our open, collaborative approach, or our long-term commitment to helping communities on their Journey to Self-Reliance.  At the same time, other countries need to do their fair share, and USAID is working with the Department of State to increase burden sharing by other donor countries. 

Thursday, 23 July, 2020

The world is constantly changing, and it is imperative that we at USAID change along with it. From the new nature of humanitarian and development needs, to shifts in government versus private financial flows, to innovative new technologies that have reshaped the way we work—today’s landscape is vastly different than it was just 20 years ago. Former Administrator Mark Green set USAID on a bold path of Transformation, through interconnected reforms to our workforce, structure, programs, and policies. We initiated this process with one goal in mind: building the USAID of tomorrow, an Agency better-placed to respond to dynamic challenges, foster self-reliance, and one day end the need for foreign assistance.

Thursday, 23 July, 2020

On June 16, 2020, USAID released its WPS Implementation Plan, which describes concrete steps we will take to expand and strengthen our work to empower women and girls in countries affected by crisis and conflict.  Our Implementation Plan will help us advance the WPS Strategy through effective, coordinated actions across our development programs and humanitarian assistance and strengthen our programs to advance women’s leadership in preventing and resolving conflict, countering violent extremism, and supporting post-conflict recovery.

Tuesday, 21 July, 2020

Throughout all our activities, USAID identifies and pilots innovative approaches; employs rigorous evaluation and metrics to identify what works and what does not work; and gathers and shares the evidence with partners, other donors, and the private sector to scale up programs that are effective and efficient.  While the challenge is daunting, there are tremendous opportunities.  USAID has significantly increased our work to address these challenges, and we will continue to expand our investments in this area using well-designed, sustainable approaches at the national and sub-national levels to make progress on the ground and reduce waste.  With Missions around the world eager to engage, USAID is well-placed to support the USG in playing a leading role to confront ocean plastic pollution.

Wednesday, 1 July, 2020

As you are fully aware, the COVID-19 pandemic is unique, in that it is causing widespread health and economic devastation across the world, in developed and developing countries alike. The challenges that COVID-19 brings forward have the ability, if unchecked, to magnify underlying and ongoing development challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean, which potentially undermines the significant investments made through the generosity of the American people. USAID recognizes that, to protect development efforts in the region adequately, we must begin to look to the future, adapt our processes and structures accordingly, and act. Of course, this is all in addition to the immediate priority of helping our hemispheric neighbors protect themselves from and combat COVID-19.

Thursday, 18 June, 2020

Today, faced with COVID-19, the United States is again demonstrating clear and decisive leadership. The United States has mobilized as a nation to combat the virus, both at home and abroad, by committing more than $12 billion to benefit the global COVID response overseas. USAID is working with the U.S. Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, and State, as part of an All-of-America response. With $2.3 billion in emergency supplemental funding generously appropriated by Congress, including nearly $1.7 billion for foreign assistance implemented by USAID and the State Department, we are financing health care; humanitarian assistance; and economic, security, and stabilization efforts worldwide.

Wednesday, 11 March, 2020

In summary, members of the Committee, we believe the Sahel is a region that requires flexible programs that address localized conflicts and stresses, and recognizes people often self-identify in terms that cross borders and ignore modern government institutions. We seek to build resilience, increase constructive options and opportunities for individuals (especially youth), resolve conflict through tailored mediation and reconciliation programs, and promote peace-and-stability affirming messages to counter extremist propaganda. We would welcome the opportunity to expand our work. We pledge to continue to work closely with the Departments of State and Defense on a coordinated, whole-of-government approach in the region. We welcome your input, counsel, and appreciate your ongoing support.

Tuesday, 3 March, 2020

The President’s Budget Request for FY 2021 for accounts that USAID fully and partially manages is approximately $19.6 billion. It proposes $2.1 billion for USAID-Global Health programs and $5.9 billion for the Economic Support and Development Fund (ESDF). In terms of USAID’s humanitarian assistance, it requests $6 billion for the International Humanitarian Assistance account, which—when combined with carryover resources from FY 2020—will enable us to support an average annual level of nearly $9 billion for FY 2020 and 2021 for overseas humanitarian assistance alone. This would be the second highest level ever and maintains the United States’ role as the largest humanitarian donor in the world. At the same time, we expect other donor countries to contribute their fair share.

Thursday, 13 February, 2020

USAID programming under the Merida Initiative complements the work of our colleagues at the State Department's Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, including efforts to combat transnational criminal organizations. These criminal organizations are not only expanding in size and scope, but also diversifying their illicit activities.  Criminal networks are fluid, striking new alliances with networks around the world and engaging in a wide range of illicit activities, ranging from illegal trafficking in drugs, wildlife, human trafficking, and migrant smuggling, to cybercrime and money laundering. We partner with the Government of Mexico, civil society, and the private sector to reduce impunity, uphold the rule of law, address corruption, protect human rights and promote freedom of expression, and engage at-risk youth to prevent crime and violence. Ultimately, these efforts will help us to disrupt the activities of transnational criminal organizations and their subsidiaries, reduce illicit trafficking to the United States, and promote Mexico’s security and prosperity.

Tuesday, 10 December, 2019

For 65 years, our mission has been to save lives and end hunger by providing food assistance. We do this work because alleviating global hunger represents the best of America's generosity and goodwill. It can also advance U.S. security by helping to stabilize fragile regions, which can make the world a safer place. By helping them recover from crises, our work supports people as they take their first steps on the Journey to Self-Reliance. These efforts complement the work of other parts of USAID, including the Bureau of Food Security (BFS). My remarks today focus on DCHA/FFP’s efforts and mainly on Title II.


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