In May 2011, President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron reaffirmed our mutual commitment to improving the lives of the world’s poorest people through the US-UK Partnership for Global Development. Through the Partnership, we are working together to achieve better results by advancing economic growth; preventing conflict in fragile states; improving global health, particularly for girls and women; strengthening mutual accountability, transparency, and measurement of results; and mitigating the effects of climate change.
We have followed through on these commitments in multiple ways, through coordinated development cooperation at a country level, joint responses to new and emerging crises, and combined advocacy efforts to strengthen international action.
Inclusive economic growth, driven by a strong private sector, is vital for reducing poverty. The UK is actively supporting the US 2012 Presidency of the G8, which will focus on food security, agriculture, and nutrition. In 2013, the UK will host the G8 with active support from the US. We will achieve the financial pledges we made at the 2009 L’Aquila G8, and reaffirm the commitment we made then to the Rome Principles for collective global action. We will take concrete steps to strengthen food security in Africa, working with African countries, other development partners, and especially the private sector. We will encourage investments in agricultural development and large scale interventions to promote inclusive economic growth and alleviate hunger.
Conflict and Fragility
In 2011, the Horn of Africa faced a major humanitarian crisis caused by drought in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia. The US and UK, as the two largest bilateral donors, have been in the vanguard of a major international response to meet the needs of 13.3 million affected people - focusing resources and attention on immediate needs, building resilience, and strengthening long-term development to improve self-sufficiency. Jointly, we are co-sponsoring a donor event in March 2012 to improve resilience in the Horn of Africa and have established a ministerial-level “Resilience Political Champions Group” to sharpen the political commitment to helping countries become more resilient to the increasing number and severity of natural disasters.
At the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, the US and UK endorsed a New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States. Through its implementation, we are working with the Government of Afghanistan and others to develop progress measures for reforms, which can provide a basis for our assistance, and are coordinating closely to address fragility during the transition through promoting sustainability and inclusive economic growth. We are developing other pilots in South Sudan and Liberia.
Global Health, Girls and Women
Investment in reproductive, maternal, and newborn health saves lives and is highly cost effective. In June 2011, at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization Replenishment Conference, the US and the UK worked together to secure commitments that exceeded GAVI’s $3.7 billion request by $500 million. The funds pledged will allow GAVI to immunize more than 250 million children in the world’s poorest countries by 2015, preventing more than 4 million premature deaths.
The US and the UK continue to provide strong support to the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, honoring our significant financial pledges, encouraging new donors, and supporting its new leadership, strategy, and reform plan.
As key members of the Alliance for Reproductive, Maternal, and Newborn Health, we are working to accelerate progress in ten focus countries that account for the majority of maternal and neonatal mortality worldwide. Consistent with the Alliance’s 2011 progress report, the UK will host a major international event in July to galvanize support for increasing women’s access to family planning. The US and UK are also serving together on the Steering Committee for the Child Survival Call to Action to end preventable child deaths in this generation.
The US and UK recognize the catalytic role that effective development cooperation plays in alleviating poverty and are committed to getting value for money for our taxpayers. In Busan we supported a range of major international commitments to strengthen the effectiveness of development efforts, and the US joined the UK as a signatory of the International Aid Transparency Initiative.
Linked to this, the US and UK worked with seven other countries to establish the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in 2011. The US currently chairs the OGP with Brazil, and the UK will take over the US co-chair in April 2012. This innovative partnership between governments and civil society commits governments to new levels of transparency and accountability to result in better responsiveness and services for their citizens. Over 50 countries have already signed up.
Climate change threatens to reverse the progress we’ve made in reducing poverty, as it is the world’s poorest who are among the most vulnerable to a changing environment. Both the US and UK continue to support scaling-up actions and mobilizing finance, both public and private, for initiatives to reduce emissions resulting from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. We are also collaborating closely to increase resilience of communities to climate change and supporting the development and deployment of clean energy technologies as part of our collective commitments to global action.
Our partnership remains vibrant and vital. We remain strongly focused on reducing global poverty and recognize that progress can be accelerated by embracing new partnerships and new innovations. That is why the UK recently joined USAID’s “Saving Lives at Birth” Grand Challenge for Development, to identify and scale up transformative approaches that save the lives of mothers and newborns in rural areas of the developing world at the time of birth. More broadly, we are building on the substantial progress at Busan and elsewhere in engaging with emerging market countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China, and with the private sector, to support the creation of the new Global Partnership and engage these countries in poverty eradication.
Finally, we continue to maintain our strong commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including co-hosting an annual MDG Countdown event at the UN General Assembly to showcase excellent results and progress towards each of the MDGs. We are actively participating in international and intergovernmental discussions on a post-2015 reaffirmation of the importance of ending world poverty and renewal of our international commitment to achieve this.