Recent economic turmoil has prompted many policy responses by the United States. These steps have been bold and extensive, but the Bush Administration has emphatically rejected the idea of reducing international development assistance.
The United States remains pledged to helping the world's poor, and supporting countries making the right choices to promote their people's well-being. Likewise, the United States believes it would be a serious mistake for donor countries to reduce or suspend their aid efforts, particularly to developing nations who are also suffering from the many repercussions of the profound global slowdown.
"America is committed, and America must stay committed, to international development for reasons that remain true regardless of the ebb and flow of the markets," U.S. President George Bush told a group of more than 500 foreign officials, aid workers and others attending a development summit meeting at the White House on October 21st, 2008. He said that promoting international development not only benefits recipient nations, but also serves the security and economic interests of the U.S. He called on his successor in next month's presidential election to continue this commitment.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice echoed these concerns. "Reneging on our commitments to the world's poor cannot be an austerity measure," she told the group.
Since 2000, the U.S. has nearly doubled its development assistance to the nations of Latin America, quadrupled it to sub-Saharan Africa and more than doubled it world-wide.
The United States has not only increased the amount of its development aid, but has also worked to increase its effectiveness. Projects such as President Bush's initiative on HIV/AIDS and the Millennium Challenge Corporation target assistance to nations that embrace democracy and free markets, fight corruption and invest in education and health.