Collaboration Key to US Approach in Crisis States

A shipment of emergency assistance from the U.S. Agency for International Development arrives in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo by: USAID

An integrated U.S. government approach to crisis prevention, humanitarian response and instability is crucial to fostering development. And the U.S. Agency for International Development is helping to make such a collaboration happen, Susan Reichle says.

“The Agency recognizes the limits of focusing on development alone, particularly in countries at risk of instability. As a result, we are directing more attention and resources to combat the threat of violent extremism, insurgency, and the effect of international criminal networks in order to promote peace and security. USAID plays a critical role with others in the U.S. Government interagency community to combat these challenges,” the senior deputy assistant administrator at the USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance said July 28 before the U.S. House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs.

To ensure the success of American development programs in countries at risk of instability, the U.S. must take the leadership of those countries into account. USAID and the State Department should also have access to resources that allow for flexible and robust responses such as the Complex Crises Funding - a new fund appropriated by the U.S. Congress offering unprogrammed money in order for these two government entities “to prevent and respond to emerging or unforeseen crises.”

USAID and the Department of Defense should also have an adequate number of personnel trained to respond to crisis situations. USAID is “taking concrete steps to train its staff to operate in unstable environments, to adapt USAID programs to address the causes of instability, and to work effectively with the military in the field,” Reichle said.

About the author

  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.