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The head of USAID discusses efforts to counter the actions of Russia, China

Samantha Power, the director of the US International Development Agency, pointed out to parliamentarians on Tuesday a number of concerns, including the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on those fleeing the conflict, which led to shocks to the global energy and food markets, the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of the global pandemic. .

Speaking to Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee on President Joe Biden’s budget request for next fiscal year, Power said: “The world is now more unfree and more peaceful than ever since the end of the Cold War,” and of the free nations. The world can work together with the private sector and multilateral organizations to “extend peace, prosperity and human dignity to billions more.

Power told the committee that efforts to help those affected in Ukraine include an emergency line against human trafficking and training of Ukrainian psychiatrists to help internally displaced people cope with “the new problems they say they have experienced, even when they were flee their homes or as victims of sexual violence. “

“This is a combination of the increased agenda we are pursuing as a result of past conflicts and our continued investment in empowering women and girls and preventing gender-based violence,” said Power. “But when these big international organizations and others come in, to make sure they have protection services as part of their mandate, so that not only food, water, medicine, all of this is necessary, but also to meet the needs of women and girls who have gone through this horror. “

Power said the United States wanted to sustain its contribution to development, humanitarian and economic aid to Ukraine.

“The share of the United States so far, despite all the generosity and resources we have spent, is 11% of the total international contribution to the crisis in Ukraine now,” she said.

New York Democrat Gregory Meeks, chairman of the committee, said the situation in Ukraine “has only added to the important work that USAID is doing around the world,” noting how the conflict is affecting other nations as well.

“Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has also exacerbated the deteriorating food security situation around the world,” Meeks said. “The blockade of the port of Odesa has further restricted exports, which could feed 400 million people. Staples that countries around the world rely on for basic food needs. And we are already seeing how Russia’s invasion is affecting food prices, especially in major importing countries such as Egypt, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

Discussing another aspect of Russia’s efforts, Power said its organization also focused on combating information, including supporting independent media in Ukraine.

“Sometimes, Member of Parliament, it involves providing independent journalists with suits and helmets through our Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) program so that they can continue to be on the ground and be able to document what is true. It is a state-owned media and information center, and in fact a number of independent journalists left civil society and started working for this center to combat information, “said Power. “This is something we have increased support for as the government seeks to respond in real time to meme as it evolves, whether in a telegram, on Twitter, or on Russian-backed television.

The committee’s representative, Michael McCaul, a Republican in Texas, said USAID needed to be “more focused on using foreign aid as a key tool in countering the violent actions of both Russia and China.”

McCaul noted his concern about China’s belt and road initiatives as it seeks to open up trade routes by building infrastructure around Eurasia, and what he called the “diplomatic debt trap effort” to secure strategic investment while “saddling developing countries” on unsustainable debt “.

He also noted China’s diplomatic pressure on other countries.

“They also use leverage to force countries to cut off diplomatic relations with Taiwan and avoid criticizing China’s horrific human rights abuses,” McCaul said.

Asked how USAID could help China-dependent countries reduce such effects, Power said many were willing to “secure resources that do not entail decades of debt” while ensuring that infrastructure projects do not harm the environment. and even hasten their transition. to use clean energy.

“I think everything from the Countering Chinese Influence Fund, which you have generously supported, to the investments we make in the open and secure internet in the digital field, to the kind of investments that once again do not follow the business. or with the ties that PRC (People’s Republic of China) invests in, I think these are the areas in which USAID and our partners across the US government thrive, “said Power.

Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Monday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck.

Power said the “paralysis of state institutions” that the country has experienced in recent years “can not really be separated from the economic collapse that the people of Lebanon have had to endure.

She said USAID had worked on providing technical advice to support Lebanon’s economy and that it was now focusing on humanitarian aid, with 81% of the country’s wheat supplies coming from Ukraine.

Power said it hoped the new Lebanese government “would be healthier to make difficult economic reform decisions. It is these organizational changes that are needed to stop free fall, “she said.

The head of USAID discusses efforts to counter the actions of Russia, China

Source link The head of USAID discusses efforts to counter the actions of Russia, China

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