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September 20, 08

NEWS / U.S. Commitment to the Millennium Development Goals

“To spread a vision of hope, the United States is determined to help nations that are struggling with poverty. We are committed to the Millennium Development Goals. This is an ambitious agenda that includes cutting poverty and hunger in half, ensuring that every boy and girl in the world has access to primary education, and halting the spread of AIDS — all by 2015.” — President George W. Bush

We are at the halfway point to meeting those Millennium Declaration Goals (MDGs) established for 2015. The 2007 Millennium Development Goal Report of the United Nations has documented noteworthy progress toward achieving the MDGs. At the global level, life expectancy, literacy, infant survival, and caloric intake continue to increase. Democratic and accountable governance, improved investment climates, and trade liberalization are driving growth. This progress is unprecedented.

U.S. Strategy

To enhance development success and to assist in meeting and sustaining the MDGs, the United States has clear strategy with four key components:

* Supporting strong country leadership and ownership of the development process;
* Creating an enabling environment for economic growth and partnerships to fuel development as a bedrock on which all other poverty eradication efforts rest;
* Investing in people, particularly in their basic education and health, to build the capacity of the poor so they can gain access to better-paying jobs and enjoy a higher quality of life; and
* Addressing the challenge of fragile or post-conflict states through a comprehensive defense, diplomatic, and development approach.

The U.S. Contribution

Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction

Since 2006, USAID has provided over $9.5 billion to help developing countries sustain critical economic reforms, accelerate economic growth, and reduce poverty and food insecurity. On June 30, 2008 the President signed a supplemental appropriations act providing an additional $1.62 billion to address the global food crisis. Also, in his Fiscal Year 2009 budget request, the President recommended Congress appropriate an additional $628 million for economic growth and poverty reduction in Africa.

Millennium Challenge Account

In 2002, President George W. Bush announced the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA). To date, MCC has signed compacts with 16 qualifying countries totaling $5.5 billion to “reduce poverty through growth” by investing in infrastructure, agriculture, health, education, and other areas determined by partner countries. Ten other qualified countries are in the process of developing MCC compacts.

Investing in People

The U.S. is the largest investor in improving health. Since 2003, the U.S. Congress has committed approximately $20 billion to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other neglected tropical diseases. The U.S. has quadrupled its funding for the fight against these diseases since 2000.

Official Development Assistance

U.S. official development assistance in 2007 was $21.8 billion. At the Gleneagles G8 Summit in 2005, President Bush announced that the United States would again double assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa from $4.3 billion in 2004 to $8.7 billion by 2010. We are on track to meet that goal.

Critical Role of the Private Sector

U.S. private resource flows to developing countries substantially exceed all official development assistance provided by all donors. These resources, totaling $159 billion, are more than 1% of U.S. GDP. In 2007, these flows included:

* A 58 % increase in capital investments and credits to $99 billion;
* Remittances from migrant workers worth $48 billion; and
* Private and foundation grants of $12 billion.

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