Category: World News

Washington, DC - President Obama’s Global Development Policy, released in the fall of 2010, elevated development as a core pillar of American power and recognized global development as a strategic, economic, and moral imperative for the United States.

Consistent with Presidential Policy Directive 6, the President signed an Executive Order in 2012 establishing the President’s Global Development Council (GDC) to inform and provide advice to the President and other senior U.S. officials on U.S. global development policies and practices, support new and existing public-private partnerships, and increase awareness and action in support of global development. Since 2010, we have sharpened the focus of our global development investments on achieving sustainable development outcomes, leveraging the private sector and nongovernmental partners, and investing in game-changing innovations. 

Today, the GDC released its second report outlining five sets of recommendations on how to further advance our new approach to development, including by: 1) further galvanizing the private sector; 2) promoting sustainable growth while building resilience to climate change; 3) driving innovation for development results; 4) increasing collaborative resource mobilization for development; and 5) further catalyzing economic opportunities for women and youth, especially in megacities.

These recommendations come at a critical juncture in the lead-up to the Third International Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July and the UN Summit to Adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda in September. These events present an historic opportunity to shape ambitious global development priorities for the next 15 years.

In implementing our new approach to development, the United States is leading by example, including through the following signature global development initiatives: 

        i.            The United States is the world’s leading donor in global health. Our global health investments are improving health outcomes through strengthened and more sustainable health systems, increased investments in maternal and child health, family planning, nutrition and infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases. From Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 to FY 2014, the U.S. Government dedicated more than $50 billion to achieving global health goals. We have also increased our investments in game-changing innovation by promoting research and development, including both applied science as well as operation and implementation research, that address our partner countries’ health goals and objectives. 
     ii.            Through the Global Climate Change Initiative, the United States is integrating climate change considerations into our foreign assistance strategy to foster a low-carbon future and promote sustainable and resilient societies in coming decades. Based on country-owned plans, the Administration is working to make our climate financing efficient, effective, innovative, and focused on achieving measurable results and mobilizing private sector investment.
   iii.            Through Feed the Future we support partner countries in developing their agriculture sector to spur economic growth and trade, to increase income, and to reduce hunger, poverty and under-nutrition. Under this initiative we achieve impact through country-led approaches and by establishing partnerships with all stakeholders—governments, businesses, research communities, and civil society organizations. Feed the Future programs are supporting the deployment of climate-smart technologies that make farmers more resilient to climate change.
   iv.            In 2013, President Obama launched Power Africa, an innovative private sector-led initiative aimed at doubling electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 600 million people currently lack access to electricity. We have already leveraged more than $29 billion in external commitments in support of Power Africa, including more than $20 billion in private sector commitments. For every U.S. taxpayer dollar invested, the United States has leveraged nearly three dollars in private sector commitments, and more than four dollars in total non-U.S. Government commitments.

Additional development activities underway across the U.S. Government are also advancing each of the five goals outlined in the GDC report. The activities listed below are illustrative of the broad range of U.S. Government commitments and efforts underway.

Galvanizing the Private Sector for Development

The Obama Administration has put a premium on leveraging private sector investments to support global development. Below are examples of steps we have recently taken or intend to take to continue to leverage private sector resources:

Promoting Sustainable Growth

This Administration has made promoting sustainable growth a critical priority, including through actions at home and abroad to combat climate change. In June 2013, President Obama outlined the Climate Action Plan to cut carbon pollution, help prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change, and continue to lead international efforts to address global climate change. U.S. Government agencies are taking steps and will take additional steps to promote more sustainable growth globally, including:In November 2014, President Obama announced his Administration’s intention to contribute $3 billion, not to exceed 30 percent of total confirmed pledges, to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to reduce carbon pollution and strengthen resilience in developing countries. The strong U.S. pledge helped increase the number and ambition of other countries’ contributions and our leadership helped propel initial capitalization of the fund to over $10 billion, a threshold seen by stakeholders as demonstrating serious donor commitment.

Spurring Innovation and Focus on Results

The Administration has promoted new public and private sector efforts to harness cutting-edge technologies, including to accelerate research and scale innovations in internet and communication technologies to support global development.  U.S. Government agencies have taken and will take steps to integrate a focus on innovation and results into their operations and activities, including through the following:

Mobilizing Resources Collaboratively

Achieving an ambitious Post-2015 Development Agenda will require the international community to mobilize the full range of international financial flows, including public and private flows, as well as remittances, philanthropy and other sources. The United States is pursuing efforts to expand resource mobilization efforts, including:

Catalyzing Economic Opportunities for Women and Youth, with a Focus on Megacities

President Obama has made promoting gender equality and advancing the status of women and youth, including in megacities in many regions of the world, central to our national security strategy and foreign policy. From establishing the White House Council on Women and Girls, to focusing on women and girls for greater impact in our global health and food security initiatives, we are prioritizing opportunities for women and youth, including: