Congressional Testimony

Speeches Shim

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

As Administrator Power said in outlining her vision for development on USAID’s 60th anniversary, “corruption is basically development in reverse.” It undermines national security, scares away private investment, contributes to environmental degradation, erodes the rule of law, and weakens support for democracy itself. Corruption fuels and is fueled by the prevalence of drug trafficking and the transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) that facilitate it. Both corruption and the trade in illicit narcotics are rooted in weak governance systems, captured or compromised justice sector institutions, and ineffective oversight and enforcement bodies. And these dynamics know no borders, involving actors, systems, and networks across countries and regions. Addressing the dual threats of corruption and the illicit narcotics trade, then, will require a persistent, coordinated, and whole-of-government effort. With Missions in more than 80 countries and programs in more than 100, USAID plays a critical role in this endeavor.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Thanks to Congress’ support, USAID and interagency partners have made great strides in the fight against COVID-19. But so much more remains to be done to end the pandemic and build back better. We will not be able to do this alone. USAID, in coordination with our interagency partners, is working closely with other donor governments, multilateral institutions, as well as philanthropic and the private sectors as our collective efforts are the only way we will be able to secure a future free of COVID-19.

We are entering the most operationally intensive year of the global response. Vaccine producers will increasingly supply low-income countries and COVAX in the coming months. We still foresee significant gaps and supply risks - several flagship vaccines continue to face production challenges that have delayed scale-up, and India’s export restrictions have been only marginally relaxed. We nonetheless expect that the supply outlook for lower-income countries will start to improve somewhat as we enter 2022. But with only three percent of low-income and only 36 percent of middle-income countries’ populations having received at least one vaccine dose, next year will require unprecedented outreach to successfully get shots into arms.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Around the world, the compounding effects of conflict, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic are driving record levels of humanitarian need. At the same time, the operational challenges created by these same drivers of need are making the delivery of aid more challenging —the number of people we can reach with the same level of resources is declining. According to the United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 235 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection in 2021. This constitutes a 40 percent increase in need over the 2020 level, which senior UN officials assess is almost entirely attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the pandemic has impacted each humanitarian sector differently (a few of which I will highlight below), we have consistently seen that communities affected by conflict or disasters are particularly susceptible to the spread of COVID-19 and its impacts—the populations we reach are often displaced, and many lack access to food and the basic services that are critical for preventing and mitigating disease outbreaks. This pandemic has had disparate impacts on already vulnerable or marginalized groups, including women and girls, children, and people with disabilities. In addition to providing life-saving assistance to populations in need, we are also making targeted investments in the international humanitarian system to effectively respond to public health emergencies in even the most challenging operational contexts.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

As an Agency that addresses the world’s toughest challenges, no challenge poses a greater threat to our planet than climate change. The scientific record is clear that carbon pollution is heating our planet -- threatening our health, safety, economy, and security. As the overwhelming scientific consensus in the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report confirmed, if unchecked, the consequences of climate change will be catastrophic to life in the United States and in every country on the planet. A blanket of pollution has been created around the earth. This blanket traps heat and is dangerously heating the planet. Even if the world bands together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero tomorrow, the impacts of climate change are already here and are not going away - from punishing storms and devastating floods to grueling droughts, extreme heat waves, and raging wildfires.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The United States has several options moving forward. Many of us who watch Africa have grown more alarmed in recent years at the rapid spread of violent extremism, from thenow affecting not just the Sahel and the Horn, but also, now toward the the West African coast, through the Horn, down the Great Lakes Region, and now along the shores of the Indian Ocean in northern Mozambique. Whereas just a few years ago, the center of attention was on the proliferation of groups in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and elsewhere in the Middle East, African countries are increasingly featured and fill reports on global terrorism. These same countries feature in IS/Al-Qaida propaganda. The United States is waking up to that reality, and Congress can play an amplifying role, as this hearing today demonstrates. Thank you for giving these issues your attention.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The world faces a profound climate crisis. This is a global, existential crisis and we can no longer delay action or do the bare minimum to address climate change. It threatens lives, health, economic progress and livelihoods. Climate change threatens development progress and exacerbates global inequities; increases water and food insecurity, natural hazards, the need for humanitarian assistance, and displacement; worsens the quality of the air we breathe as well as health outcomes, and contributes to conflict. The climate crisis fosters instability and threatens to undo the progress we’ve made and the taxpayer dollars we’ve invested in global development, prosperity, and security.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Last month, I traveled to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador to hear directly from the people impacted by the cycles of poverty, violence, climate shocks, and corruption and I travelled to assess and expand the impact U.S. assistance was having on their lives. What I saw there was a local reflection of global trends. People that continue to lose loved ones and suffer through lockdowns due to a still-raging COVID-19 pandemic that has already left 4 million people dead around the world. Families that have been traumatized by more frequent and intense hurricanes and rare weather events, many in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. And, as you indicated, everyday-citizens who are angered by poor governance, autocratic behavior, and corruption that limits opportunity, investment, prosperity, and personal freedom.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Nearly eight months after the start of the conflict, the humanitarian crisis in Tigray has deteriorated to shocking levels, and the need for action has become ever more urgent. USAID believes that a famine may already be happening in Tigray, threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. If the conflict doesn’t end, and humanitarian access does not improve, this already devastating situation will get even worse.

We could see widespread famine occur in Ethiopia later this year一a situation the country has not faced since the 1980s.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The United States and our neighbors in the Caribbean remain strong partners with shared values and interests. For the past 16 years during the month of June, we have celebrated these values and the countless contributions of the Caribbean-American diaspora community as part of Caribbean-American Heritage month. And we look forward to deepening these ties in the months and years ahead. Our partnership with the Caribbean is based not only on shared culture and values, but also on the understanding that what affects one of us, affects all of us.

Friday, June 11, 2021

President Biden is committed to a foreign policy that unites our democratic norms and institutions with our leadership on the world stage—one that is centered on promoting democracy and advancing human rights. We know that societies that respect and defend human rights and protect fundamental freedoms are more stable, prosperous, and secure, make strong trade partners, and are better equipped to confront global challenges. Yet in the Indo-Pacific, significant deficits in citizen-responsive governance and respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, and democratic norms and institutions compromise stability and prosperity in a region of the world home to the majority of humanity. While USAID and its partners have been adapting to meet these challenges, we also recognize that much more needs to be done, and we are looking forward to doing so in alignment with this Administration’s priorities and in consultation with the U.S. Congress

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Last updated: December 02, 2021

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