Will President Obama follow through on his new vision for the global poverty fight?

By Oxfam

Washington, DC— A leaked White House document on global development shows the Obama White House is stepping up its efforts to reform US efforts to fight global poverty said humanitarian organization Oxfam America today.

A leaked draft National Security Council document entitled "A New Way Forward for Global Development” shows how the Obama administration has the opportunity to unravel the confusion and dysfunction of US development programs and set clear goals and priorities. The report identifies real challenges, opportunities and priorities for our development policies, highlights the importance of country ownership, and elevates development as a key pillar of US foreign policy.

“America’s toolkit for fighting global poverty is a spaghetti bowl of conflicting responsibilities, mandates and authorities that have very real costs for US foreign policy and the world's poor,” said Gregory Adams, director of aid effectiveness at Oxfam America. “This report underscores the importance of development as a strategic imperative for our country and highlights the potential for the most meaningful reform of US efforts to fight poverty in fifty years.”

Among other things, the report identifies the need for legislative, as well as administrative, reform, makes a commitment to rebuilding USAID as the US Government’s lead development agency and defines its mission as “helping to create a world with more prosperous and democratic states, able to meet the needs of their people and to be our partners in addressing common threats, challenges and opportunities.”

“While this report definitely puts the Administration on the right path, it is no substitute for a strategic plan to fight global poverty,” said Adams. “This shows the President is in the game to defeat global poverty.  Now, he needs a concrete victory.  He can get a major one this year by issuing a US Global Development Strategy.”

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