Oxfam America welcomes the expected nomination of former Representative and Ambassador Mark Green as Administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
“Since leaving Congress, Ambassador Mark Green has committed himself to fighting against global poverty, has a long track record in international development, and first hand experience in the important role and responsibility the US has in the fight,” said Raymond C. Offenheiser, President of Oxfam America. “His leadership will be much needed at a time of unprecedented global crisis, with 65 million people forced to flee their homes, multiple famines looming, and increasing havoc caused by climate change.”
Oxfam hopes that the appointment will come with a mandate to build on the reforms started under President Bush and continued under President Obama to increase transparency, investments in local leadership and governance, promote evidence based policy and strengthen monitoring and evaluation.
“We stand ready to work with Ambassador Green to continue to make USAID a premiere development agency that saves lives, enhances our national interests, and builds partners that ultimately make a safer world for all,” said Offenheiser.
In just the last 15 years, bipartisan US administrations have brought development and humanitarian assistance to the fore of US foreign policy, recognizing its importance to securing US national interests around the world in cooperation with defense and diplomacy. Presidents Bush and Obama both established new aid initiatives - including the Millennium Challenge Corporation, USAID Forward, Feed the Future, and Power Africa - that brought greater innovation, transparency, private-sector involvement, and data-driven programming to US foreign assistance.
In addition, recent reforms at USAID have turned it into a modern development agency with a greater focus on ensuring accountability for aid dollars, building local capacity, and a commitment to lasting results that will allow countries to become self-sufficient and graduate from foreign aid. Oxfam hopes Ambassador Green will work with the Administration to undo proposed budget cuts to USAID.
“Once confirmed, Ambassador Green will need a strong and fully funded USAID to operate in this time of crises, so we urge Congress to fund the International Affairs Budget at $60 billion. Now is not the time to cut back on our support for foreign aid, but to make it even better,” continued Offenheiser. “As an independent, non-partisan organization that does not depend on US government funding, we look forward to working with Ambassador Green to build on bold reform efforts to further increase the effectiveness of our foreign aid dollars that align well with our foreign policy priorities, national security interests, and values central to America’s identity.”