USAID Leader: ‘Faith-Based Aid Expresses American Values’

USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah delivered a major speech entitled The Modern Development Enterprise at an event hosted by the Center for Global Development. Here’s an excerpt from his speech:

When we prevent violence in Southern Sudan, we’re not just avoiding future military involvement; we’re also expressing American values.

When schoolchildren organize bake sales to pay for anti-malarial bednets, they are expressing American values.

When more American families give money to the Haiti relief efforts than watch the Super Bowl, they are expressing American values.

When church groups across the US raise money and volunteer to support children orphaned by AIDS, they are expressing American values.

Just last week, I attended a mass commemorating the one year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake. I was impressed by a flier Catholic Relief Services distributed at the mass describing their work to support survivors in Port-Au-Prince.

I’m proud to know that USAID is one of CRS’s largest supporters. But I’m also proud to know that we support a wide-range of faith-based organizations, from Samaritan’s Purse to the American Jewish World Service.

Organizations of faith not only express the moral values of millions of Americans, they also provide some of the most dependable support systems for millions in the developing world. In Kenya for example, 30% of all healthcare services are provided by Christian Hospitals.

Our success depends on listening to communities of faith, connecting with them deeply, and supporting the vital work they perform around the world.

The full text of the speech at USAID.

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