Global Washington Welcomes Policymakers to Discuss Maintaining Foreign Aid Amidst Proposed Cuts

Aug 26, 2011, 13:06 ET from Global Washington

Famine-ravaged East Africa underscores the importance of foreign assistance programs

SEATTLE, Aug. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Nations defines a famine, in part, as 30 percent of an area's population suffering from malnutrition.  There are sections of southern Somalia where that number exceeds 50 percent, the highest levels in the world.  Donations have poured in for famine relief from all corners of the globe, but the area remains trapped in a cycle of hunger.

As the world's leading provider of humanitarian aid, since October 1, 2010 the United States has spent more than $560 million to assist relief efforts on the Horn of Africa.  Yet, at a time when parts of the world can least afford it, U.S. foreign assistance programs are at-risk. A bill is currently in Congress that would reduce foreign aid funding by 11 percent from current levels.

To address this and other issues related for foreign aid, Global Washington, a broad-based membership association that promotes and supports the global development sector in the state of Washington, will host a special discussion on foreign assistance reform, principles in effectiveness and the effect of reform on global development work at 3:30 PM on August 30 at the University of WA (see below).

Titled "Reforming Aid: Transforming the World," the event will feature U.S. Representative Adam Smith, Kent R. Hill of World Vision, Sofia Belay of Oxfam America and Paul Weisenfeld of USAID. Carol Welch, of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will serve as the moderator.

As we witness the events unfolding on the Horn of Africa, it's painfully apparent that more can, and must, be done to develop long-term solutions to break a debilitating pattern of food-related crises.  

For more information and to register to attend, please visit

Who: Rep. Adam Smith, D-WA – Co-Chair of The Congressional Caucus for Effective Foreign Assistance

Kent R. Hill – Senior V.P., International Programs, World Vision United States

Sophia Belay – Microinsurance Program Coordinator, Horn of Africa Regional Office, Oxfam America

Paul Weisenfeld – Assistant to the Administrator (USAID), directing the Bureau for Food Security

Carol Welch (moderator) – Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

What: Reforming Aid: Transforming the World: A Discussion with Policymakers on U.S. Foreign Assistance Reform

When: Tuesday, August 30, 2011, 3:30 p.m.5:30 p.m.

Media Availability: Tuesday, August 30, 2011, 3:00 p.m.3:30 p.m.

Where: University of Washington, Seattle Campus, Kane Hall, Room 120

About Global Washington
Founded in 2007, Global Washington is a broad-based membership association that promotes and supports the global development sector in the state of Washington. Composed of non-profit organizations, foundations, businesses, government and academic institutions, our members work to collectively to build a more equitable and prosperous world.  Global Washington convenes members to generate new opportunities for growth, strengthens member organizations to increase their impact, and advocates across key global development issues at the local, national and global level.

For More Information Contact:
Bookda Gheisar (206) 547-9322

SOURCE Global Washington