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USAID Following Up on America's Commitments

(FILE) Michael Ronning at USAID event in Laos.

USAID will concentrate on reversing democratic backsliding and help its partners strengthen democratic institutions and norms.

USAID Following Up on America's Commitments
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The United States Government, working through USAID, seeks to partner with countries in the East Asia and Pacific region. Such partnerships are essential to creating a free and open Indo-Pacific that improves lives, increases regional stability and security, and helps generate prosperity.

“At USAID, we approach development in the region with the understanding that the People's Republic of China is trying to rewrite existing regional rules and norms for its own narrow advantage,” said Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator at USAID’s Asia Bureau, Michael Ronning. “However, our development approach starts not with the question of what we are against but rather what we are for.”

“USAID embodies what the United States can offer the region as a partner and friend in development to communities and families who are seeking to transform their lives. And more broadly, as a leader in U.S efforts to advance a free and open, connected, prosperous, secure, and resilient Indo-Pacific,” he said.

“Countries in the region count on the United States to be a bulwark of stability in a rapidly changing region,” said Mr. Ronning. And USAID is taking every opportunity to continue to cement a reputation as a reliable partner, he said:

“First, to boost inclusive economic growth, USAID will promote trade and investment private sector productivity and digital connectivity. Second, our demand-driven climate change activities will reduce emissions protect critical ecosystems, implement regulatory forms to mitigate resource conflicts, and partner and help partners transition to renewable energy.”

Speaking in mid-July during a U.S. House of Representatives Hearing entitled Achieving Peace through Strength in the Indo-Pacific, Mr. Ronning said that USAID will concentrate on reversing democratic backsliding and help its partners strengthen democratic institutions and norms. Next, USAID will work to increase women's political, civic, and economic engagement, address gender inequality and combat gender-based violence.

“Finally, … USAID will continue to bolster the resilience of partner countries and their economies to prevent, detect, and respond to pandemic threats, [and] increase their ability to withstand future shocks,” he said.

Quoting USAID Administrator Samantha Power, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator Ronning noted that “It is in America's best interest to feed the world, to help protect fellow democracies, to advocate for the dignity of all people, not only to reflect an America that is generous, compassionate, and moral, but also to protect the safety and the prosperity of the American people.”