Obama Administration Faced Foreign Aid Challenges, Potentially Remembered For Efforts To End Extreme Poverty, Address Climate Change

Devex: President Obama and his development legacy
John Norris, executive director of the Sustainable Security and Peacebuilding Initiative at the Center for American Progress

“…With the economic crisis and Republicans in Congress reflexively opposing anything proposed by President Obama, the days of wine and roses were gone. If the Obama administration wanted to create a lasting development legacy, such plans would have to be largely ‘budget neutral’ and not require congressional authorization. Any number of bold plans were simply nonstarters. … There were also two very significant pushes from the Obama late in his administration that will affect the contours of the development landscape for years to come. First, the president committed to the core goal of ending extreme poverty around the globe within a generation. … The other important achievement in the late stages of the administration was the Paris climate change agreement. … Both the Bush and Obama teams are proud of their development records and legacies, and able to lay out compelling arguments supporting their respective track records. The challenge for the next president: identifying which parts of these mutual legacies to preserve; putting their own stamp on development; and doing all this without making the current development machinery even messier than it already is” (7/12).

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