September 23, 2016
Written by Gayle Smith, USAID Administrator
This post originally appeared on Medium.
It is a matter of great pride for me — as the USAID Administrator, but also as an American — that people all over the world turn to the United States in times of great need. When an earthquake strikes, or a drought makes it near impossible to put food on the table, or violence forces families from their homes, people everywhere know that the United States will be there, and will act to provide food, medicine, and even the tools to rebuild.
The American people expect this kind of leadership from their government. And they respond themselves with generosity. Take the global refugee crisis that is straining the world’s resources and testing our collective resolve. More than 65 million people have been forcibly displaced by conflict and violence; that’s about as urgent as a crisis gets. And yesterday, InterAction — the largest American alliance of international NGOs — announced a commitment of $1.2 billion to help meet the urgent needs of refugees and displaced persons over the next three years. This is funding from the American people to others in need.
The takeaway is simple: when people are in need, Americans want to help.
In today’s world of complex crises and sharp-edged conflicts, this kind of generosity is more important than ever. And governments, donors, and businesses all over the world need to follow the lead of the American people and step up. We are facing daunting global challenges, and we need bold leadership to solve them.