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Bush's new foreign aid policy

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  • Bush's new foreign aid policy

    U.S. to Begin New Approach on Foreign Aid
    By GEORGE GEDDA
    Associated Press Writer
    WASHINGTON

    President Bush speaks to reporters before boarding Air Force One at Brooks County Airport in Falfurrias, Texas, Thursday, Jan 1, 2004. When asked about sending aid to the earthquake victims in Iran, Bush said, "It's right to take care of people when they hurt." Bush spent his New Year's Day hunting for quail with his father, former President George H.W. Bush at a private ranch called El Tule in Falfurrias. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    A revolution in U.S. foreign aid, rewarding countries for how they govern, is finally ready to get under way, almost two years after first promised by the Bush administration.

    The program will favor countries whose governments are judged to be just rulers, welcoming hosts for foreign investment and promoters of projects to meet their people's basic health and education needs.

    Corrupt police states need not apply.

    Administration officials expect this year to inaugurate President Bush's plan, known as the Millennium Challenge Account, which he outlined in March 2002.

    It contemplated $5 billion annually for the program starting in 2006, a 50 percent increase over the base foreign aid budget of $10 billion.

    The administration had hoped for $1.3 billion for the current budget year, which began Oct. 1, as a starter; Congress has provided nothing so far but is expected to approve $1 billion after it reconvenes this month.

    Bush's initiative came six months after the Sept. 11 attacks and clearly has a national security component.

    "Poverty, weak institutions and corruption can make weak states vulnerable to terrorist networks and drug cartels within their borders," according to Bush's National Security Strategy report from September 2002.

    Andrew Natsios, administrator of the Agency for International Development, calls it "a revolutionary new development initiative."

    Based on long decades of experience, Natsios said, "money will not solve the problem of bad policy" but can accelerate progress in countries with enlightened governments.

    Bush's idea is not without its critics.

    Rep. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., an expert on Latin America, said the program does nothing over the short term to help that region's impoverished masses.

    Chester Crocker, a top aide on Africa policy in the Reagan administration, said the program is worthwhile but limited. He points out that African countries being considered are small in number and in size.

    "This particular approach is good in countries that sort of work," he said. "Philosophically, it makes some sense to do it this way. But it's not a silver bullet that answers all the problems."

    The program seems to have attracted more interest abroad than at home. Natsios said in an interview that several governments are tailoring their policies so that they might be among the lucky dozen or so initial recipients of program money.

    Natsios said he told the parliamentary leader in a European country that his government's inability to deal with corruption meant that it was out of the running for millennium challenge money.

    Soon thereafter, Natsios said, the speaker saw to it that parliament approved three anti-corruption bills.

    Natsios would not identify that country or any of the countries that are in the running.

    Steve Radelet, of the Washington-based Center for Global Development, said potential beneficiaries in the first round, based on program criteria, are: Armenia, Bhutan, Ghana, Honduras, Lesotho, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Senegal, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

    Any administration move to include Vietnam would be contested in Congress because of the country's authoritarian government.

    But Natsios said the lure of program money has galvanized a number of governments to mend their ways. Countries not selected the first time around could become eligible in the future.

    It could go the other way as well. Bolivia, on Radelet's original list, may have disqualified itself after its pro-American president, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, was forced out last month in a popular uprising. A rising star these days on the Bolivian political scene is Evo Morales, an avowed opponent of free markets.

    Menendez and several colleagues are proposing a development fund of $500 million per year for Latin America to fight growing poverty. He noted that current U.S. aid for Latin America is skewed toward military and counternarcotics assistance.

    Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Guatemala and Venezuela, among others, "remain on the verge of chaos, increased conflict or political turmoil," Menendez said, and his information suggests none is a prospective first-round beneficiary country.

    Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., finds fault with the Bush program's eligibility criteria and its proposed organizational structure. Otherwise, Lantos said, the proposal is long overdue.

    Lantos, senior Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, called the program "ambitious and farsighted," with "the potential of revolutionizing the way the United States promotes democracy and development abroad."




    I think this is one of the smartest things this retarded administration has done in the last 4 years. keep your fingers crossed guys because this could mean huge aid for Armenia that could have a very very big effect on the development of the nation.

  • #2
    Very interesting that Azerbaidjan isn't on the list. I guess it wasn't the same people who made this list that found almost nothing to say about Azerbaidjan's elections, and so many things about the Armenian elections.
    Nevertheless, I guess this proves that, despite Bush's "safer" approach towards elections in Azerbaidjan, Armenia is developping a lot better than many want to admit.

    I just hope that we wouldn't be dependant on these aid packages we receive. Ad al goo ka...

    Comment


    • #3
      Also, I believe we should give credit to our government where they deserve it.

      Of course there is corruption, but Armenia was described as the "cleanest" State of the former USSR by quite a few researches. Also, the World Bank and the IMF have praised many projects undertaken by our government in order to reduce poverty. So it's not all bad...

      Comment


      • #4
        you are right. lets see what saakashvilli can do in georgia now. Lets see how quick he cleans up the country, because i believe this man has his whole heart behind the betterment of georgia and i dont think hes gonna xxxx around. If he can clean it up quickly then we can know for sure that our government is not doing all they can. if he cant then we can see that doing this is not as easy as we might think

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by TigranJamharian you are right. lets see what saakashvilli can do in georgia now. Lets see how quick he cleans up the country, because i believe this man has his whole heart behind the betterment of georgia and i dont think hes gonna xxxx around. If he can clean it up quickly then we can know for sure that our government is not doing all they can. if he cant then we can see that doing this is not as easy as we might think
          According to some georgian political analyst, Saakashvili is all ideas, but no plan. In a way it would make sense, as he just speaks of the things he will do, and hasn't really given any examples. But still, I think it's better to have such an ambitious guy, and give him all the chances to pursue what he wants to do, instead of an old Sheveradnadze, who had no idea about what he wanted to do. One thing about Georgia is that the situation is SO horrible that big change can be very easy to achieve. As in even a minor action will lead to a big difference.

          As for seeing what kind of job our government has been doing, Kocharian keeps stressing that the big rises in production, exports, GDP et al can only go so long without having a concrete impact on the population. He says that pretty soon, many people will feel a direct amelioration in their lives. We'll have to see.

          Comment


          • #6
            just a sidenote:
            EVERY MOVE Bush has been taking lately (including the one 2 days ago where he's gonna "legalize" immigrants yegher ) is a step towards getting more and more votes in 2004..
            that's all.
            - and you're gonna forget about me?
            =Every Day...

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jahannam just a sidenote:
              EVERY MOVE Bush has been taking lately (including the one 2 days ago where he's gonna "legalize" immigrants yegher ) is a step towards getting more and more votes in 2004..
              that's all.
              Obviously. Watch as he pays such a close attention to all the ethnic minorities now. I am hoping Americans have more common sense than to elect this guy again.



              DEAN FOR PRESIDEEEEEEEEEENT!!!!!

              Comment


              • #8
                i must say i support Clark

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TigranJamharian i must say i support Clark
                  Also not a bad choice. He seems to have a lot of support up here in Canada. And you can never go wrong with a candidate that's liked in Canada.

                  But Dean would be tooooo good. He's the anti-Bush! And he won't owe anything to big corporations because his campaign contributions were around 80$ each.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jahannam just a sidenote:
                    EVERY MOVE Bush has been taking lately (including the one 2 days ago where he's gonna "legalize" immigrants yegher ) is a step towards getting more and more votes in 2004..
                    that's all.
                    Yes. Because non citizen immigrants vote.
                    The times are tough now, just getting tougher
                    This old world is rough, it's just getting rougher
                    Cover me, come on baby, cover me - Bruce Springsteen

                    Comment

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