Congress Acts to Increase Transparency of Foreign Aid

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Oxfam America praised last night’s passage of the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2015 by the House of Representatives, which will ensure American tax dollars do a better job of helping fight global poverty. Introduced by Representatives Judge Ted Poe (R-TX) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA), the bill passed by voice vote. Oxfam urged Senators to support the companion bill introduced by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) when it comes up for a vote in the next few days.

“Even in these highly partisan times, Congress today has found that transparency in foreign aid is in everyone’s interest,” said David Saldivar, Oxfam America’s policy and advocacy manager for aid effectiveness. “We hope the Senate quickly follows suit since greater transparency and accountability in our foreign aid will help people in developing countries do more to lead their own development, and use US help more effectively to fight poverty.”

This bill will institutionalize US commitments to foreign aid transparency and build a rigorous process to evaluate aid spending and learn from what works (and what doesn’t) in international development. Under current law, it is too difficult for American taxpayers and people in recipient countries to see where aid dollars are going and how well they are being spent. This is especially true given that US aid efforts are spread across at least 22 different agencies, and shockingly little data is currently available.

“In today’s fiscally –constrained world, transparency will help ensure that every cent of taxpayer dollars spent on foreign aid is delivering results in our efforts to fight poverty around the world,” continued Saldivar.

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