Sunday, December 14, 2008

2009 Offering of Letters: Reforming Foreign Aid

Excerpt from Bread West December newsletter
(By Robin Stephenson and Matt Newell-Ching)

Bread for the World is preparing to launch the 2009 Offering of Letters on Reforming Foreign Aid in January. Our 2009 Offering of Letters will urge Congress to rework U.S. foreign assistance to make it more effective in reducing poverty.

At a time of economic constraint, we have a long-awaited opportunity to make U.S. foreign assistance more effective and get more of our aid to people who really need it.

If foreign aid is fixed, more lives can be saved. Fewer children will die of hunger. Parents will be able to feed their families in the years to come.

Better foreign aid also means less waste. We will be asking Congress to bring U.S. foreign assistance up to date and ensure that development is elevated as a national priority, alongside defense and diplomacy.

Bread for the World has had sent groups to Ethiopia and Nicaragua to gather stories to create this year’s Offering of Letters DVD. Bread staffers Kimberly Burge and Brian Duss wrote about their trip to Nicaragua in the Bread blog. (The above photo was taken during Kimberly and Brian's trip)

Recently Bread for the World president David Beckman spoke about the hunger crisis and Foreign Assistance Reform on Voice of America. You can listen here. As well, there was a very good story on NPR’s All Thing’s Considered with about foreign aid and the next administration. Listen here.

There are good background papers by Bread for the World policy analysts online (you might want to build a study group around these).

Global Development: Charting a New Course by Todd Post.
2. Reforming Foreign Aid by Charles Uphau

Finally, the Dec. 14 edition of Parade magazine published a chart that provides good background on the direction of our foreign aid until now. The chart lists the top six recipients of foreign aid and the purpose of that aid. For the top four (Israel, Egypt, Pakistan and Jordan), the words "weapons" and "security" are prominent. For the next two, Kenya and South Africa, the key word is HIV/AIDS.
Here is a link to the chart.

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