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Coalition Launches Initiative to Modernize U.S. Foreign Assistance

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Washington, DC ? Leading global development experts today called on Congress and the President to elevate development as a key component of the U.S. foreign assistance system to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
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>?As a global organization working to reduce poverty in over 120 countries, Oxfam witnesses, on a daily basis, the best and worst of U.S. foreign assistance,? said Raymond C. Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America.ï¾  ?We work directly with the end-users of U.S. foreign assistance, both poor people and their governments.ï¾  Overwhelmingly, they feel that U.S. foreign aid, as currently designed, is failing.ï¾  It is time for reform of the laws, strategy, and structure of US foreign aid.?
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>In a report released today, experts including Offenheiser said that the international and domestic challenges of the 21st century?including transnational threats such as economic instability, terrorism, climate change, and disease?cannot be met with a foreign assistance apparatus created to confront the challenges of the 20th century.ï¾  The report, ?New Day, New Way: U.S. Foreign Assistance for the 21st Century,? contains proposals on aid reform from a coalition of experts and organizations, the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN).
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>?Foreign assistance and other investments in developing countries are vital tools for strengthening U.S. foreign policy, restoring American global leadership, and fighting global poverty,? said MFAN co-chair Steve Radelet of the Center for Global Development. ?Foreign policy experts on both sides of the political aisle now recognize the importance of strong foreign assistance programs. But they also recognize that our foreign assistance programs are out of date and badly in need of modernization to meet the challenges of the 21st century.?
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>The report lays out the importance of foreign assistance as a foreign policy tool which includes defense, diplomacy, and development.ï¾  It makes the case that it is in the country?s national interest to elevate development assistance and makes specific recommendations such as better accountability, a national strategy for the coordination of the entire U.S. foreign assistance system, and making development a sustainable piece of America?s long-term investments overseas.
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>"By giving development a seat at the foreign policy table we can narrow the gap between the world's haves and have nots, tackle the challenges posed by climate change, the global food crisis, and the world's weak and failing states and, most importantly, strengthen the moral foundation from which we lead,? said MFAN co-chair Gayle Smith of the Center for American Progress.
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>The report was released today during the launch of MFAN in Congress. Speakers included Rep. Howard L. Berman, chair, House Foreign Affairs Committee; Rep. Nita Lowey, chair, State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee; and Sen. Chuck Hagel, member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
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>Members of MFAN include: Raymond C. Offenheiser (Oxfam America), Steve Radelet (Center for Global Development),ï¾  Gayle Smith (Center for American Progress), Brian Atwood (Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota), David Beckmann (Bread for the World),ï¾  Lael Brainard (Brookings Institution), Larry Diamond (Hoover Institution, Stanford University), Sam Worthington (Interaction), Francis Fukuyama (The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University), Carol Lancaster (Mortara Center for International Studies, Georgetown University),ï¾  George Ingram (Academy for Educational Development), Larry Nowels, Charles MacCormack (Save the Children), Michael McFaul (Center on Democracy, Development and Rule of Law, Stanford University), Stewart Patrick (Council on Foreign Relations), and William Reese (International Youth Foundation).ï¾ ï¾ ï¾ 
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