In Defense of Smart Foreign Assistance

   USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah in Washington, January 7, 2010. [AP File Photo]

By Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

This week more than 2,000 government, civil society and private sector leaders have gathered in Busan, South Korea with one goal: to improve the quality and effectiveness of development aid.

The setting is especially significant; 50 years ago, South Korea was largely a country of peasant farmers. It was poorer than two-thirds of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa and its people barely lived past the age of 54.

Today, South Korea is a high-tech hub, a net donor and its people have some of the longest life expectancies in the world. South Korea also happens to be the seventh largest market for American goods; we sell more to the South Koreans than we do to the French. The free trade agreement President Obama recently signed with South Korea means we’ll be selling even more to Seoul in the future, leading to high-paying American jobs.

South Korea’s… more »

Asia, the Americas, and U.S. Strategy for a New Century

William J. Burns, Deputy Secretary delivered remarks at the World Affairs Councils of America National Conference in Washington, DC on November 4, 2011.
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