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Testimony Before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Administrator Designate Dr. Rajiv Shah December 1, 2009
Date:12/1/2009

technical support to countries seeking to reform their agriculture sectors. In the 1970s, the Agency helped develop and accelerate the effective use of Oral Rehydration Therapy - an intervention that has saved millions of lives. In the 1980s and 1990s, USAID investments in civil society, democracy and governance helped El Salvador turn away from a legacy of conflict and embark on a more effective and inclusive course of development. And more recently in West Africa, the Agency has worked to support Ghana's remarkable progress in poverty reduction, economic growth and democratic governance. Thanks to strong Ghanaian leadership and support from USAID, Ghana is now on a path to become a net food supplier to the region.

If confirmed, it will be my great honor to build on that rich tradition, and to lead the nearly 8,000 people - including Foreign Service officers, Civil servants, local country nationals, and others in the extended USAID family - who work to help bring stability, freedom and prosperity in partnership with more than eighty countries worldwide.

Since my nomination, I have spoken with many smart and experienced people about the challenges USAID faces. I have appreciated the counsel of the members of this Committee as well as your staffs, and I hope it is the beginning of a relationship marked by open communication and consultation. The clear message I have taken away from all of these meetings is this: USAID must become a more agile, focused, flexible agency that is accountable to the Congress and the American people.

We live in a time of tremendous opportunity and challenge. Our global capacity to innovate, build systems and solve problems is unparalleled and progress is evident in many countries.

However, roughly 2 billion people -- nearly one third of humanity - have been essentially left behind. Many of them are reeling from a tragic confluence of events - from the rising cost of food, to volatile
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SOURCE U.S. Agency for International Development
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