Campaign Promises

Cabinet/Departments -> State -> USAID

The Promise: "will introduce a new Rapid Response Fund - a seed fund that will provide a shot of adrenaline to young democracies and post-conflict societies, through foreign aid, debt relief, technical assistance and investment packages that show the people of newly hopeful countries that democracy and peace deliver, and the United States stands by them."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening Our Common Security by Investing in Our Common Humanity", dated 09/11/08.
Status:For FY2010, Congress appropriated $50M against a $100M request for a "Complex Crises prevent and respond to emerging or unforeseen crises" (which we interpret to mean a variant of the intended "Rapid Response Fund").

President Obama's FY2011 budget requested $100M for this Complex Crises Fund but Congress appropriated only $40M. For FY2012, the President's request went down to $75M, and against this request the Congress appropriated $43M. The President's request goes down again for FY2013, this time to $50M.

The promise did not have a dollar amount attached to it, so credit is given for the creation and funding of this initiative by the Obama Administration.
The Promise: "...will mobilize our civilian agencies to address a new set of global challenges and boost the stature of the government's long-term development mission to attract the most talented professionals."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening Our Common Security by Investing in Our Common Humanity", dated 09/11/08.
Status:On 12/15/10, Secretary of State Clinton unveiled the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) following President Obama's release of a National Security Strategy (NSS) released on 05/27/10, after the Presidential Study Directive on Global Development (PSD-7) was leaked to the public earlier in 05/10.

As of CY2010, there were no less than 12 departments, 25 agencies, and 60 government offices involved in U.S. foreign assistance programs. The greatest hindrance to progress on this promise appears to be the age-old conflict between the State Department and USAID, where the Administrator of USAID continued to report to the Secretary of State.

The QDDR called for the State Department and USAID to change the way they did business by mandating reform in four areas:
- adapt to a 21st Century diplomatic landscape,
- elevate and modernize development,
- strengthen the civilian capacity to prevent and respond to crises and conflicts, and
- work smarter to develop results for the American taxpayer.

One of the key goals articulated in the QDDR is to "focus and deepen our investments and empower our development professionals to deliver in areas that build on our core strengths."

This promise has been fulfilled.
The Promise: "...will coordinate and consolidate PEPFAR [President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief], Millennium Challenge Corporation, Middle East Partnership Initiative and many foreign assistance programs currently housed in more than 20 executive agencies into a restructured, empowered and streamlined USAID."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Strengthening Our Common Security by Investing in Our Common Humanity", dated 09/11/08.
Status:Launched by President Bush in FY2003, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was reauthorized in the amount of $48B in FY2009 for a period of five years through FY2013. In addition to funds to fight HIV/AIDS, it also includes funding for tuberculosis and malaria.

As of end-CY2013, there has been no sign of any initiative by the Obama Administration to consolidate PEPFAR activities, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), and the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) under the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Since its creation in CY2004, the MCC remains an independent foreign aid agency of the U.S. Government. Similarly, the MEPI has existed since CY2002 as a separate State Department program that supports reform efforts in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Rather, a 09/29/10 statement by Ambassador Eric Goosby, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs confirmed that "the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Commerce (DoC), Department of Labor (DoL), Peace Corps, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Millennium Challenge Corporation, Middle East Partnership Initiative and other government organisms continue to share PEPFAR implementation with USAID under President Obama's Global Health Initiative (GHI)."

This promise to consolidate PEPFAR activities with those of the MCC and MEPI under a "streamlined USAID" has not been fulfilled.