One of the early, and most significant changes made by the administration of President Barack Obama, was the elevation of development as a key element of U.S. foreign policy, on an even footing with diplomacy and defense.
Among the top objectives of U.S. development policy was to achieve sustained and inclusive economic growth; democratic governance; game-changing innovations; leveraging new partners and multiple sources of development financing; and building sustainable systems to meet basic human needs.
“Instead of government going it alone, we’ve deepened partnerships with multilateral organizations, and civil society, and the private sector and faith communities and, most importantly, people on the ground. Instead of government just sending foreign aid, we’re leveraging new sources of funding -- committing and mobilizing more than $100 billion from the private sector and other partners to promote development and save lives.”
President Obama’s signature development initiatives, such as Feed the Future and Power Africa, many of which build on programs begun by previous administrations, have marked tremendous successes, said President Obama:
“We’ve saved over 60 million lives from measles and malaria and tuberculosis. We’ve slashed HIV/AIDS infections and deaths. Across the developing world, incomes have gone up. Tens of millions of boys and girls are in school. Millions have gained access to clean energy, helping to mitigate the threat of climate change. In just the past 25 years, more than 1 billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty -- 1 billion.”
U.S. investment in global development is a key element of our foreign policy not just because it helps improve the lives of millions of people, but also because it is crucial to global stability, and therefore our own security, said President Obama.
“We know there's a correlation between no education, no jobs, no hope, the violation of basic human dignity, and conflict and instability.
“So development isn't charity. It's one of the smartest investments we can make in our shared future -- in our security and our prosperity.