Borgen Project Blog in New Location

The Borgen Project’s blog has moved. Visit the blog at http://borgenproject.blogspot.com/.

Borgen Project Blog Moved

The Borgen Project’s new blog is located at http://borgenproject.blogspot.com/.

New Blog

The Borgen Project’s blog is now located at: http://borgenproject.blogspot.com/.

NY Times: Leaders Must Address Global Poverty

Summary of New York Times Editorial: In 2005, 1.5 billion people lived in extreme poverty and 27% of children under 5 years of age in developing nations were underweight according to a study by the World Bank. The Millennium Goals, aimed at alleviating such circumstances and accepted by developing nations almost a decade ago, are looking less achievable with the current global economic state. Good intentions have fallen short of action with most of the participating nations not reaching the aggregate amount of aid desired by a long shot; the U.S. being the lowest on the list and Scandinavia the only countries to reach their set goals. Many expect this pattern of aid to be the trend for at least the near future when considering the woeful current state of the global economy.

PicCell Wireless Recognized for Poverty Reduction Efforts

The Borgen Project has recognized PicCell Wireless for it’s efforts to combat global poverty. PicCell Wireless is a Seattle-based company that provides wireless service to international travelers. PicCell has supported The Borgen Project’s work in bringing political attention to severe poverty.

Learn more about the work of PicCell Wireless in poverty-reduction efforts.

Global Poverty Act Senate Reports

Calendar No. 718110TH CONGRESS

Report

SENATE

2d Session

110-331

–THE GLOBAL POVERTY ACT OF 2007

April 24, 2008- Ordered to be printed Mr. BIDEN, from the Committee on Foreign Relations,submitted the following REPORT[To accompany S. 2433]

The Committee on Foreign Relations, having had under consideration the bill (S. 2433) to require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon with amendments and recommends that the bill, as amended, do pass.

CONTENTS Page
I. Purpose 1
II. Committee Action 2
III. Discussion 2
IV. Cost Estimate 3
V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact 4
VI. Changes in Existing Law 4

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of S. 2433 is to require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.

II. COMMITTEE ACTION

S. 2433 was introduced by Senators Obama, Hagel, and Cantwell on December 7, 2007. It is cosponsored by Senators Feinstein, Lugar, Durbin, Menendez, Biden, Dodd, Feingold, Snowe, Murray, Harkin, Johnson, and Smith. On February 13, 2008, the committee considered the bill, and approved several minor amendments to it. The committee then ordered the bill, as amended, reported favorably by voice vote.

III. DISCUSSION

The Global Poverty Act of 2007 (GPA) directs the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the U.S. foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.

Currently, over 1 billion people worldwide live on less than $1 per day, and another 1.6 billion people struggle to survive on less than $2 per day. The United States has recognized the need for increased financial and technical assistance to countries burdened by extreme poverty, as well as the need for strengthened economic and trade opportunities for those countries. At the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000, the United States joined more than 180 other countries in committing to work toward goals to improve life for the world’s poorest people by 2015. Goal 1 of the Millennium Development Goals aims to reduce by one-half the proportion of people, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day. The U.S. has established several significant initiatives in recent years that are consistent with this goal, including the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003, the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003, the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, and trade preference programs for developing countries, such as the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

Initiatives by the United States to reduce global poverty reflect the basic American principle of helping those in need to live with dignity and opportunity. They are also consistent with our national security priorities. The bipartisan Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (2004) recommends: `A comprehensive United States strategy to counter terrorism should include economic policies that encourage development, more open societies, and opportunities for people to improve the lives of their families and enhance prospects for their children.’

The Global Poverty Act declares it official U.S. policy to promote the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day. It would require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to advance that policy and includes guidelines for what the strategy should include–from foreign aid, trade, economic development, and debt relief, to working with the international community and leveraging the participation of businesses and nongovernmental organizations. The bill requires that the President’s strategy include specific and measurable goals, efforts to be undertaken, benchmarks, and timetables. The President would also be required to report back to Congress on progress made in the implementation of the global poverty reduction strategy.

The Global Poverty Act does not mandate new spending by the United States, nor does it commit the United States to any future spending. This bill does not commit the United States to advance the other Millennium Development Goals. Similarly, this bill does not commit the United States to other United Nations policy goals or imply concurrence with any other United Nations statements.

The bill requires the Secretary of State to designate a coordinator who will have primary responsibility for drafting the global poverty reduction strategy and assisting in its implementation. The language allows the Secretary discretion to designate a coordinator in the existing bureaucracy or to create a new position as the Secretary deems appropriate. It does not require the Secretary to create a staff for the coordinator; the coordinator should draw upon capabilities and resources already present at the Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development, and other relevant agencies.

The House version of the bill (H.R. 1302), which was sponsored by Representatives Adam Smith and Spencer Bachus, was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives last September with bipartisan support.

IV. COST ESTIMATE

In accordance with rule XXVI, paragraph 11(a) of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee provides this estimate of the costs of this legislation prepared by the Congressional Budget Office.

U.S. Congress,

Congressional Budget Office,

Washington, DC, March 28, 2008.Hon. JOSEPH R. BIDEN, Jr.,
Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: The Congressional Budget Office has prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 2433, the Global Poverty Act of 2007.

If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Michelle S. Patterson.

Sincerely,

Robert A. Sunshine

(For Peter R. Orszag, Director).

Enclosure.

S. 2433–Global Poverty Act of 2007

S. 2433 would require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to reduce global poverty. The strategy should include, among other things, more effective forms of development assistance, coordination of efforts with other countries and international organizations, and continuation of existing initiatives to reduce poverty and disease in developing countries. The bill also would require the State Department to prepare several reports describing the strategy, its implementation, and the progress made on achieving the objectives for reducing global poverty.

Based on information from the State Department, CBO estimates that implementing S. 2433 would cost less than $1 million per year, assuming the availability of appropriated funds. Enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or receipts.

S. 2433 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.

The CBO staff contact to this estimate is Michelle S. Patterson. This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

V. EVALUATION OF REGULATORY IMPACT

Pursuant to rule XXVI, paragraph 11(b) of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee has determined that there is no regulatory impact as a result of this legislation.

VI. CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee notes that no changes to existing law are made by this bill.

Global Poverty Act – Full Text of Bill

Learn more about the Global Poverty Act at borgenproject.org

Global Poverty Act of 2007 (Reported in Senate)

S 2433 RS

Calendar No. 718 110th CONGRESS 2d SessionS. 2433

[Report No. 110-331]To require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

December 7, 2007

Mr. OBAMA (for himself, Mr. HAGEL, Ms. CANTWELL, Mrs. FEINSTEIN, Mr. LUGAR, Mr. DURBIN, Mr. MENENDEZ, Mr. BIDEN, Mr. DODD, Mr. FEINGOLD, Ms. SNOWE, Mrs. MURRAY, Mr. HARKIN, Mr. JOHNSON, Mr. SMITH, and Mr. KERRY) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

April 24, 2008

Reported by Mr. BIDEN, with amendments and an amendment to the title

[Omit the part struck through and insert the part printed in italic]


A BILL

To require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Global Poverty Act of 2007′.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress makes the following findings:
    • (1) More than 1,000,000,000 people worldwide live on less than $1 per day, and another 1,600,000,000 people struggle to survive on less than $2 per day, according to the World Bank.
    • (2) At the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000, the United States joined more than 180 other countries in committing to work toward goals to improve life for the world’s poorest people by 2015.
    • (3) The year 2007 marks the mid-point to the Millennium Development Goals deadline of 2015.
    • (4) The [Struck out->] United Nations [<-Struck out] Millennium Development Goals include the goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, that live on less than $1 per day, cutting in half the proportion of people suffering from hunger and unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation, reducing child mortality by two-thirds, ensuring basic education for all children, and reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS and malaria, while sustaining the environment upon which human life depends.
    • (5) On March 22, 2002, President George W. [Struck out->] Bush stated [<-Struck out] Bush participated in the International Conference on Finance for Development and endorsed the Monterey Consensus, stating: `We fight against poverty because hope is an answer to terror. We fight against poverty because opportunity is a fundamental right to human dignity. We fight against poverty because faith requires it and conscience demands it. We fight against poverty with a growing conviction that major progress is within our reach.’.
    • (6) The 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States notes: `[A] world where some live in comfort and plenty, while half of the human race lives on less than $2 per day, is neither just nor stable. Including all of the world’s poor in an expanding circle of development and opportunity is a moral imperative and one of the top priorities of U.S. international policy.’.
    • (7) The 2006 National Security Strategy of the United States notes: `America’s national interests and moral values drive us in the same direction: to assist the world’s poor citizens and least developed nations and help integrate them into the global economy.’.
    • (8) The bipartisan Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States released in 2004 recommends: `A comprehensive United States strategy to counter terrorism should include economic policies that encourage development, more open societies, and opportunities for people to improve the lives of their families and enhance prospects for their children.’.
    • (9) At the summit of the Group of Eight (G-8) nations in July 2005, leaders from all eight participating countries committed to increase aid to Africa from the current $25,000,000,000 annually to $50,000,000,000 by 2010, and to cancel 100 percent of the debt obligations owed to the World Bank, African Development Bank, and International Monetary Fund by 18 of the world’s poorest nations.
    • (10) At the United Nations World Summit in September 2005, the United States joined more than 180 other governments in reiterating their commitment to achieve the [Struck out->] United Nations [<-Struck out] Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
    • (11) The United States has recognized the need for increased financial and technical assistance to countries burdened by extreme poverty, as well as the need for strengthened economic and trade opportunities for those countries, through significant initiatives in recent years, including the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003 (22 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.), the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003 (22 U.S.C. 7601 et seq.), the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, and trade preference programs for developing countries, such as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (19 U.S.C. 3701 et seq.).
    • [Struck out->] (12) In January 2006, United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice initiated a restructuring of the United States foreign assistance program, including the creation of a Director of Foreign Assistance, who maintains authority over Department of State and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) foreign assistance funding and programs. [<-Struck out]
    • [Struck out->] (13) [<-Struck out] (12) In January 2007, the Department of State’s Office of the Director of Foreign Assistance added poverty reduction as an explicit, central component of the overall goal of United States foreign assistance. The official goal of United States foreign assistance is: `To help build and sustain democratic, well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty and conduct themselves responsibly in the international system.’.
    • [Struck out->] (14) Economic growth and poverty reduction are more successful in countries that invest in the people, rule justly, and promote economic freedom. These principles have become the core of several development programs of the United States Government, such as the Millennium Challenge Account. [<-Struck out]

SEC. 3. DECLARATION OF POLICY.

    It is the policy of the United States to promote the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people [Struck out->] worldwide [<-Struck out] , between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.

SEC. 4. REQUIREMENT TO DEVELOP COMPREHENSIVE STRATEGY.

    (a) Strategy- The President, acting through the Secretary of State, and in consultation with the heads of other appropriate departments and agencies of the United States Government, international organizations, international financial institutions, the governments of developing and developed countries, United States and international nongovernmental organizations, civil society organizations, and other appropriate entities, shall develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people [Struck out->] worldwide [<-Struck out] , between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.
    (b) Content- The strategy required by subsection (a) shall include specific and measurable goals, efforts to be undertaken, benchmarks, and timetables to achieve the objectives described in subsection (a).
    (c) Components- The strategy required by subsection (a) should include the following components:
    • (1) Continued investment or involvement in existing United States initiatives related to international poverty reduction, such as the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003 (22 U.S.C. 7601 et seq.), the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003 (22 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.), and trade preference programs for developing countries, such as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (19 U.S.C. 3701 et seq.).
    • (2) Improving the effectiveness of development assistance and making available additional overall United States assistance levels as appropriate.
    • (3) Enhancing and expanding debt relief as appropriate.
    • (4) Leveraging United States trade policy where possible to enhance economic development prospects for developing countries.
    • (5) Coordinating efforts and working in cooperation with developed and developing countries, international organizations, and international financial institutions.
    • (6) Mobilizing and leveraging the participation of businesses, United States and international nongovernmental organizations, civil society, and public-private partnerships.
    • (7) Coordinating the goal of poverty reduction [Struck out->] with other development goals, such as combating the spread of preventable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, increasing access to potable water and basic sanitation, reducing hunger and malnutrition, and improving access to and quality of education at all levels regardless of gender. [<-Struck out] with the other internationally recognized Millennium Development Goals, including eradicating extreme hunger and reducing hunger and malnutrition, achieving universal education, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating the spread of preventable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, increasing access to potable water and basic sanitation, ensuring environmental sustainability, and achieving significant improvement in the lives of at least 100,000,000 slum dwellers.
    • (8) Integrating principles of sustainable development and entrepreneurship into policies and programs.
    (d) Reports-
    • (1) INITIAL REPORT-
      • (A) IN GENERAL- Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President, acting through the Secretary of State, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the strategy required under subsection (a).
      • (B) CONTENT- The report required under subparagraph (A) shall include the following elements:
        • (i) A description of the strategy required under subsection (a).
        • (ii) An evaluation, to the extent possible, both proportionate and absolute, of the contributions provided by the United States and other national and international actors in achieving the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.
        • (iii) An assessment of the overall progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.
    • (2) SUBSEQUENT REPORTS- Not later than December 31, 2012, and December 31, 2015, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees reports on the status of the implementation of the strategy, progress made in achieving the global poverty reduction objectives described in subsection (a), and any changes to the strategy since the date of the submission of the last report.
    (e) Coordinator- The Secretary of State shall designate a coordinator who will have primary responsibility for overseeing and drafting the initial report under paragraph (1) of subsection (d) and subsequent reports under paragraph (2) of such subsection, in coordination with relevant Federal agencies, as well as responsibility for helping to implement recommendations contained in the reports.

SEC. 5. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
    • (1) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES- The term `appropriate congressional committees’ means–
      • (A) the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and
      • (B) the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.
    • (2) EXTREME GLOBAL POVERTY- The term `extreme global poverty’ refers to the conditions in which individuals live on less than $1 per day, adjusted for purchasing power parity in 1993 United States dollars, according to World Bank statistics.
    • (3) GLOBAL POVERTY- The term `global poverty’ refers to the conditions in which individuals live on less than $2 per day, adjusted for purchasing power parity in 1993 United States dollars, according to World Bank statistics.
    • (4) MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS- The term `Millennium Development Goals’ means the goals set out in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, General Assembly Resolution 55/2 (2000).

Amend the title so as to read: `An Act to require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.’.

Calendar No. 718

110th CONGRESS 2d SessionS. 2433

[Report No. 110-331]A BILL

To require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.