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Fixing ‘Broken Contracts System’ Would Make U.S. Foreign Assistance More Efficient

Los Angeles Times: Letter to the editor: The crippling effect of ‘America first’ policies on U.S. foreign aid
Marie Clarke, executive director of the anti-poverty nongovernmental organization ActionAid USA

“It’s impossible to accurately assess the impact of U.S. foreign aid without looking at how the money is spent. … Addressing corruption is important, but the broken contracts system can mean more than half of grants for overseas humanitarian work are spent in the U.S. President Trump’s ‘America First’ agenda will only make this worse. Forcing grantees to buy American rather than source locally results in inflated prices and doesn’t deliver what’s needed. Huge sums are also paid to big audit firms. These are some of the reasons why my organization, ActionAid USA, doesn’t accept USAID funding. Local people don’t want to be dependent on aid. They want to build their own businesses and feed their families. Overseas aid is very important, but it must be better delivered” (5/15).

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