Good afternoon, everyone. On behalf of Ambassador Lenhardt and the staff of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) I am pleased to welcome you all to the Financial Inclusion Forum. I want to start by thanking USAID’s co-sponsor for the Forum, the U.S. Department of Treasury. I thank them for hosting us today, and for the incredible energy they are bringing to the Administration’s efforts to advance financial inclusion and economic participation – both domestically and internationally.
Tuberculosis (TB) is silently killing India. An estimated 2.2 million cases are reported annually: of these 220,000 prove fatal. Or to put it simply, two people die of TB every three minutes in India. This is the highest number of deaths from TB anywhere in the world.
One of USAID’s main objectives in Timor-Leste is to partner with the government and people to accelerate inclusive economic growth in the agricultural sector, improve Timorese citizens’ ability to engage in the private sector, and increase the productivity of selected agriculture value chains. Since about 80 percent of Timor-Leste’s population relies on agriculture for their livelihoods, USAID focuses on accelerating inclusive economic growth for farm households in the country’s rural areas. Our partnerships support activities aimed at boosting output above subsistence levels and improving incomes by increasing farm productivity and establishing links to markets.
The global goal of eliminating trachoma by 2020 is a major piece in ending preventable blindness and suffering by millions throughout the world. Recently, we have seen significant progress toward the goal. From 2011 to 2013, the number of people at risk of developing Trachoma has been reduced from 314 million to 229 million. Host governments in endemic countries, donors, the World Health Organization, pharmaceutical companies, and others have shown a deep commitment to ending the neglect and eliminating trachoma.
One of the reasons veteran owned small businesses make such great partners for USAID, and for the government more broadly, is that we share a key motivation: service to country. Everything we do at USAID is done on behalf of the American people. In addition to strengthening the United States’ position as a global leader, our efforts to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies help enhance our own security and prosperity here at home.
The U.S. Government is proud to be the single largest donor on the Thai-Burma border. By supporting the technical, institutional, leadership and advocacy capacities of community organizations, USAID has helped to increase access to critical health care, education, food security and protection for displaced people in conflict-affected areas in the South East part of the country and in the border provinces and refugee camps of Thailand.
Going forward, we must continue to build on decades of U.S. leadership in global food security, and solidify our efforts to make lasting progress against hunger, poverty and malnutrition. Together, all the U.S. Government agencies and Feed the Future partners, including all of you here today, can help ensure everyone has the nutritious food they need to lead full, healthy lives.
Last year’s landmark ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities demonstrated Vietnam’s commitment to respecting rights, embracing the value of diversity, and promoting equal opportunities. It added a potentially important new dimension to our cooperation that is also at the core of USAID’s broader strategy for development cooperation, which is the emphasis on inclusion.
Sự kiện năm ngoái Việt Nam phê chuẩn Công ước của Liên Hợp Quốc về Quyền của Người khuyết tật đã đánh dấu một bước ngoặt và thể hiện cam kết của Việt Nam về vấn đề tôn trọng các quyền, bảo vệ giá trị của sự đa dạng và thúc đẩy các cơ hội bình đẳng. Sự kiện này bổ sung một phương diện mới và quan trọng trong hợp tác của chúng ta đồng thời cũng là cốt lõi trong chiến lớn hơn của USAID về hợp tác phát triển với trọng tâm hướng vào sự hòa nhập.
Last updated: February 10, 2016