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State Department Takes Bold Step In Foreign Aid Reform

WASHINGTON, DC, July 10, 2009 – David Reed, senior vice president of policy for World Wildlife Fund, praised Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s announced initiative to undertake the State Department’s first ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR).  The QDDR is a strategic assessment and plan to address the United States' most pressing development and diplomacy opportunities and threats.   

The QDDR team, led by Jack Lew, the deputy secretary for Management and Resources, will also include the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Millennium Challenge Corporation. The process will not only assess the current state of play for U.S. development and diplomacy efforts but will also establish objectives and priorities, recommendations for efficient strategy implementation, and metrics for measuring success.

WWF issued the following statement from Reed:

“We are facing crises of grave threat to our environmental, economic and security interests.  Tackling climate change, poverty, food, water and energy security, and permanent, rapid loss of species and habitats, requires a whole-of-government approach and long-term, strategic thinking. The QDDR as laid out by the Secretary is an opportunity to develop an approach grounded in a “green diplomacy” that can meet these challenges.

“Green diplomacy is carried out by promoting foreign assistance and a development agenda that recognizes environment as a central pillar in building social stability, poverty reduction, and economic growth in developing countries.   The QDDR provides a potential pathway to bringing government agencies and policies together so that such a strategy is possible.

“We hope that the State Department will provide ample opportunity for organizations working with governments and communities in developing countries to provide expertise and input into the strategy and look forward to the opportunity of discussing this effort further with them.”