White House Draft Plan To Establish Pandemic Response Initiative Would ‘Gut’ USAID By Moving Global Health Bureau To State Department, Former Administrator Says; Trump Signs Order Directing USAID To Take Action On Global Religious Freedom

Devex: White House pandemic proposal would ‘dismember’ USAID, says former administrator
“A draft White House plan for a new pandemic initiative would ‘dismember’ USAID and ‘gut’ the agency’s international disaster response office, a former administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development warned on Tuesday. ‘There are a couple proposals before us,’ said Andrew Natsios, who led USAID during the George W. Bush administration, during an online event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. ‘The one before the (White House National Security Council) basically would dismember AID and move the largest bureau with the most funding with the most success record … to the State Department,’ he said, referring to USAID’s Bureau for Global Health. … The plan, according to documents obtained by Devex, would see the creation of a new initiative called the President’s Response to Outbreaks — or PRO — which would consist of a whole-of-government effort overseen by a coordinator at the State Department, and a new central fund for pandemic preparedness…” (Igoe, 6/3).

The Hill: Trump signs order directing State Dept., USAID to take action on global religious freedom
“President Trump on Tuesday quietly signed an executive order directing the State Department to take more concrete action in countries identified as violating religious freedoms, assigning $50 million to support such efforts. The executive order, called ‘Advancing International Religious Freedom,’ tasks the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to fund programs that promote and protect religious freedoms abroad…” (Conradis, 6/2).

Newsweek: Donald Trump Signs Executive Order to Make Religious Freedom a Foreign Policy Priority
“…The executive order dedicates $50 million for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to fund programs that promote and defend religious freedoms abroad. The order also calls on diplomats to work harder to hold partner countries to account over religious discrimination…” (Da Silva, 6/3).

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