Campaign Promises

Departments -> State -> USAID

ST-60 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:The proposed "Rapid Response Fund" evolved to become the "Complex Crises Fund" (CCF), which is a mechanism appropriated by Congress that provided much-needed flexible money to USAID "to prevent and respond to emerging or unforeseen crises, filling a critical gap when stove-piped assistance funds cannot be reprogrammed."

This funding mechanism quickly became one of the most highly demanded tools in the U.S. foreign policy toolkit, and was used to help mitigate violence in 19 countries, including Tunisia, Kenya, Mali and Sri Lanka. In the Central African Republic, for example, CCF funding has been used to help improve access to timely and accurate information, and lay the framework for a peaceful political transition by working to prevent further atrocities and rebuilding social cohesion through community peace-building.

Managed by USAID, funding for CCF during the Obama Administration was as follows:
FY2010 - $50M
FY2011 - $40M
FY2012 - $40M
FY2013 - $38M
FY2014 - $20M
FY2015 - $20M
FY2016 - $10M

The future of the CCF, given fast-dwindling funds, is questionable. 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.

This promise was fulfilled.
ST-61 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 appeared to be the age-old turf conflict between the State Department and USAID. The State Department recruits for policy and communications skills, while USAID recruits more for sector and management expertise. Another fly in the ointment is that 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.

Reacting to President Obama's challenge in this promise, one of the key goals articulated in State's QDDR was to "focus and deepen our investments and empower our development professionals to deliver in areas that build on our core strengths."

This promise was fulfilled.
ST-62 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.

In 03/14, USAID partnered with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to help other countries take the reins and empower themselves to confront development challenges like HIV/AIDS.

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

However, there was no sign of any initiative by the Obama Administration to consolidate PEPFAR, MCC, and the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) under the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

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" did not materialize during the Obama Administration.

This promise was not fulfilled.