Advance Sustainable Development and Global Interests

FY 2004-2009 Department of State and USAID Strategic Plan

Protecting our country and our allies from the dangers of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, international crime, and regional instability is necessary but not sufficient for achieving national security. A more healthy, educated, democratic, and prosperous world - in short, a better world - will also be more stable and secure.

Our strategic goals for democracy and human rights, economic prosperity and security, and social and environmental issues are part of a larger whole. It is no coincidence that conflict, chaos, corrupt and oppressive governments, environmental degradation, and humanitarian crises often reign in the same places. The extreme case of bad governance, failed states, can be costly in financial as well as human terms. The UN estimates that the eight most expensive cases of state collapse in the 1990s cost the international community $250 billion. Even when crises like HIV/AIDS originate from natural causes, the quality of governance can make the difference between effective and ineffective responses.

The Department and USAID share the lead in advancing sustainable development and global interests. The broad aim of our diplomacy and development assistance is to turn vicious circles into virtuous ones, where accountable governments, political and economic freedoms, investing in people, and respect for individuals beget prosperity, healthy and educated populations, and political stability. Actions taken to achieve these goals are mutually reinforcing: (1) democratic elections and growing civil societies strengthen the resolve and robustness of economic reforms; (2) credible rule of law is essential to fighting corruption and fostering economic investment and growth; (3) environmental quality and natural resource management are prerequisites for health and sustained growth; and (4) social reform is critical to long-term development.

We will continue to honor our treaty obligations and international commitments and build upon the international development consensus reached at the United Nations Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey. While standing ready to help, we will create incentives for each country to take responsibility for its economic and social development.

Democracy and Human Rights

Advance the growth of democracy and good governance, including civil society, the rule of law, respect for human rights, and religious freedom.

The promotion of democracy and human rights is an expression of our values as a nation. As President Bush has made clear, "freedom is the nonnegotiable demand of human dignity; the birthright of every person - in every civilization." The unprecedented expansion of democracy around the world indicates that these principles resonate with peoples across the globe. Nonetheless, millions remain the victims of oppressive regimes and political movements, and many nations are still only in the midst of transitioning to, or consolidating, democracy.

Elections alone will not secure freedom. Instead, societies of free citizens must be founded on a profound commitment to the dignity of each individual and to good governance. Representative government needs to be built on a culture of democracy that includes the rule of law, limits on the absolute power of the state, free speech, freedom of worship, freedom of association, equal justice, respect for women, and respect for private property. Without this intangible infrastructure, democracy may become a vehicle for the very tyranny that our Founding Fathers feared; with such a foundation, democracy will provide the means for resolving differences among free and equal citizens.

While citizens' desire for democratic government can be repressed for a time by authoritarian or corrupt regimes, the history of the 20th century shows, through the transformation of some of the world's most repressive regimes into some of its most vibrant democracies, that the transition to liberty can be made. To extend this transformation into the 21st century, the United States must be prepared to support democratic reform. To be successful, the desire for democratization must be indigenous. We recognize that each country has a unique history and traditions that will lead them on different paths to freedom. Whatever the path and pace, however, the United States must be prepared to stand with people who seek freedom.

U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance will be stalwart in support of democracy and human rights, not only because they are worthy of our traditions, but also because a more just world will be a more stable and prosperous world. We will support movements for democracy and human rights abroad consistently, responsibly, and prudently. The Department and USAID will play key roles in promoting and defending democratic reform and the recognition of human rights abroad. We will:

  • Press for democratic reform based on rule of law and sound governance principles. We will work with like-minded governments to promote democracy, and will encourage other governments inhospitable to democratic reform to liberalize.
  • Act as a leading human rights defender. We will speak out forthrightly through public statements and instruments such as the Human Rights Practices, Trafficking in Persons, and International Religious Freedom reports. Our advocacy will be guided by the dictum that promoting democratic governance is and will remain the best way to ensure the protection of human rights, especially those of women.
  • Work with other countries that share our values. We will work with other democratic governments to reform and reclaim multilateral fora such as the UN Commission on Human Rights so that they more effectively reflect the values and purposes for which they were created. We will seek to promote civic education and cultures of tolerance once we rejoin the United Nation's Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Through the Community of Democracies (CD) and regional "democracy caucuses," the United States will seek to expand the human rights consensus beyond treaty ratification to actually changing the reality on the ground. In this regard, we will work with CD participants toward the full implementation of the 2002 Seoul Action Plan.
  • Promote freedom of religion and conscience worldwide. The Department will encourage the recognition of freedom of religion and conscience throughout the world as a fundamental human right and as a source of stability for all countries. In particular, we will assist newly formed democracies in protecting freedom of religion and conscience while identifying and denouncing regimes that are severe persecutors of their citizens or others on the basis of religious belief. We also will assist faith-based and human rights NGOs in promoting religious freedom.
  • Assistance focused on governance. We will employ the Millennium Challenge Account criteria as an incentive for countries to rule justly, invest in their people, and encourage economic freedom. USAID will support and complement MCA principles with development assistance. Department and USAID policy regarding assistance will support and encourage governments that fight corruption and safeguard the rule of law, pluralism, and good governance.
  • Encourage the development of infrastructures and the economic and social foundations for democratic governance and human rights. We will emphasize that all programs (i.e., health sector, education, natural resource management, and economic growth programs) should promote democratic processes while growing a middle class capable of promoting and sustaining free and democratic governments. Providing for the economic and social basis for democratic rule—as through combating corruption, providing for basic material and health needs, and so forth—is an effective method of championing democratic reform. We must focus on developing a vibrant and independent civil society actively engaged in political life in a beneficial, pluralistic, and democratic way.
USG Partners and Cross-Cutting Programs
The following are key USG partners with whom we will coordinate to achieve this goal:
  • Broadcasting Board of Governors: This agency provides media support for democracy and human rights abroad.
  • Department of Labor: Labor monitors labor conditions around the world, including child labor, and supports technical assistance to promote labor rights and standards.
  • Department of Justice: Justice provides expertise in police and criminal law reform.
  • Peace Corps: The Peace Corps is involved in promoting democracy and similar U.S. values through its volunteers.
External Factors
The following are key factors, external to the Department and USAID, which could significantly affect the achievement of the goal:
  • Support for democracy and human rights among the citizens of foreign countries themselves.
  • Social and cultural mores in countries.
  • Attitudes toward the United States in target countries.
  • The degree of stability and security from terrorist or other threats.

Economic Prosperity and Security

Strengthen world economic growth, development, and stability, while expanding opportunities for U.S. businesses and ensuring economic security for the nation.

The United States needs a stable, resilient, and growing world economy to secure prosperity at home and abroad. As the world's largest economy and trading nation, total U.S. trade is equivalent to about one-quarter of our nation's income. Over the past decade, exports accounted for one-quarter of our economic growth. One out of every three acres of our farmland is devoted to exports, as is one out of five jobs in manufacturing. U.S. firms and households have more than $6 trillion invested abroad.

The rules-based trading system has been a principal driver of growth since the end of the Second World War. More than 50 years of post-war history demonstrates that countries that remove barriers to trade succeed in raising growth and reducing poverty, while countries that remain closed are left behind. Open markets, and the prosperity that ensues, generate resources to support public services, such as health and education, and promote accountable governments.

Our diplomacy and development assistance will advance economic security, growth, and open markets, and will help developing countries participate more fully in the rising tide of prosperity. As we apply financial, technological, and human resources to achieve our goals, we must ensure that those resources are used wisely and effectively, and that they produce measurable outcomes. We will work to ensure that our efforts effectively target women, the majority of the world's poor.

Growth and Open Markets: We must advance global prosperity by increasing economic growth through expanded trade and investment. The Department and USAID will work with other federal agencies and foreign governments to secure ambitious reductions to barriers to trade in the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and through bilateral initiatives. Building on existing U.S. free trade agreements in the Middle East, we will intensify our efforts to increase trade and investment ties with Middle Eastern countries and promote economic reform to implement the President's Middle East Free Trade Area proposal. We will strengthen the capacity of developing and transitional countries to participate in, and benefit from, trade by enhancing their ability to respond positively to global trade opportunities while observing internationally recognized labor standards. We will work to achieve Chinese fulfillment of its WTO commitments and Russian accession to the WTO. Working with foreign governments and civil society organizations, we will seek to gain broad acceptance of biotechnology as a means to improve nutrition, increase agricultural productivity, and advance environmental protection. We will support the critical role of technological innovation and entrepreneurship in sustainable economic development and will advocate information and communications technologies (ICTs) policies that promote expanded access and fair competition for U.S. companies. We will support U.S. firms as they trade and invest abroad by pressing governments to open markets, promote responsible business practices, and help resolve individual disputes. Through the G-8 and bilateral exchanges, we will urge Europe to remove structural impediments to growth and Japan to restore its banking system to health.

Economic Development: In 2002, at the UN Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, the United States helped forge a new international consensus on development that ties increased assistance to performance and accountability. We will promote sound governance and market-oriented economic growth that will enable other countries to become increasingly prosperous and interconnected with the United States, and will focus on the following strategies:

  • Help implement the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA). The President's MCA initiative will increase U.S. development assistance by 50 percent over 3 years, resulting in an annual increase of $5 billion by FY 2006, for countries that rule justly, invest in their people, and encourage economic freedom. One critical element of the MCA will be to help developing countries combat corruption and strengthen property rights, the rule of law, competition, and other elements of the business and investment climate to create an enabling environment for the private sector. We will work with other agencies, the White House, Congress, and potential recipient countries to implement this initiative. We will help poor countries undertake reforms to qualify for MCA funds.
  • Assist conflict, crisis, and failing states. We will provide assistance to countries, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, emerging from conflict and crisis and encourage other donors to do the same. We will promote economic recovery, restoration of governance, and trade facilitation. In the case of failing and fragile states, we will lead international efforts to prevent or mitigate conflict and improve governance.
  • Harness private flows. Recognizing that the value of private sector grants, remittances, assistance, and investments far exceed publicly funded Official Development Assistance, we will develop new business models to ally public resources with private-sector flows. We will generate public-private partnerships to mobilize non-official resources and know-how.
  • Promote agricultural development. A productive agricultural sector is a critical engine for economic growth in many developing countries, particularly in Africa. It also is critical for food security, improved nutrition and health, and environmental sustainability and security both in developing and transition countries. We will promote the adoption in low-income countries of new technologies deriving from agricultural research and development by mobilizing science and technology from developed as well as developing countries. We will seek new techniques for producing food without eroding the natural resource base. As women are the major food producers in many regions, we will work to ensure that women benefit from investments in technology and strengthening of markets. We will work with partner countries to strengthen the operation of local, regional, and global markets in agricultural products, employing public diplomacy as well as development assistance approaches to gain broad acceptance of biotech products in these markets while assuring the maintenance of acceptable food safety standards.
Economic Security: We must make the United States and global economies more resilient to adverse developments. The Department and USAID will work with the Treasury Department and other federal agencies, international financial institutions, and friendly governments to prevent, contain, and resolve financial disruptions that threaten economic stability, especially in states on the frontline of the war on terrorism. We will strengthen energy security by working with consuming and producing countries to prevent disruption in oil markets and expand and diversify the sources and types of energy, including renewable energy. We will support the reform of energy sectors to improve the functioning of markets, increase private sector participation, expand access to energy services, and support regional energy trade and integration. We will cooperate with other agencies and governments to establish and use legal mechanisms to prevent information communication technologies from being used for illegal or destructive purposes, and by protecting the lawful and beneficial activities of the global "on-line" community.

USG Partners and Cross-Cutting Programs
The following are key USG partners with whom we will coordinate to achieve this goal:

  • White House/NSC: The MCA and other cross-cutting initiatives and issues are centered here.
  • Department of Agriculture: USDA is a key partner in several areas, particularly in provision of food aid and promotion of farm exports.
  • Department of the Treasury: Treasury directs U.S. policy in the IMF and the multilateral development banks.
  • Department of Commerce: Commerce and the Department work closely, especially in posts abroad in support of U.S. business.
  • Export - Import Bank and Overseas Private Investment Corporation: These agencies provide export credits and investment insurance, respectively, for U.S. businesses abroad.
  • Peace Corps: Volunteers train people in some 70 countries.
  • U.S. Trade Representative: USTR coordinates trade policy and trade negotiations.
  • Department of Energy: DOE shares responsibility with the Department on most international energy matters.
External Factors
The following are key factors, external to the Department and USAID, which could significantly affect the achievement of the goal:
  • Economic policies of major trading partners, especially Japan, Europe, Canada, and Mexico.
  • Readiness of other donor governments to implement the new development consensus.
  • Degree of foreign governments' commitment to economic reform.
  • Whether a major terrorist incident damages infrastructure and disrupts consumer and investor confidence.
  • Degree to which nontariff issues such as food safety create barriers to trade.
  • Effect of Middle East tensions on price and security of oil supplies.

Social and Environmental Issues

Improve health, education, environment, and other conditions for the global population.

Disease, poverty, displacement, and environmental degradation destroy lives, ravage societies, destabilize regions, and cheat future generations of prosperity. One in four children will not receive even a basic education, and nearly one-sixth of adults are illiterate. Today, 1.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water. The need to feed the anticipated 2-3 billion children who will be born over the next 40 years will require farmers to make more intensive use of limited freshwater, thereby reducing the supply for drinking and sanitation. Human effects on the environment deplete our natural resources and reduce biodiversity. Today, 75 percent of the world's fish stocks are fished to capacity or are over fished. Yet, one billion people, mostly in the developing world, rely on fish as their primary source of animal protein. Worldwide, over 42 million people are infected with HIV/AIDS. A new infection occurs every 6 seconds. The pandemic threatens the social fabric in the most severely afflicted countries, most of which are in sub-Saharan Africa.

While these social and environmental problems are daunting, ample experience at the international and national level demonstrates that progress is possible through concerted efforts. Science and technological advances offer hope and answers. For example, although 11 million young children die every year, that number is lower than the 15 million who died in 1980. In addition, through international agreements, nations have curbed the production and use of ozone-depleting chemicals.

The United States has both humanitarian and security interests in helping countries tackle social and environmental problems. Left unresolved, these problems will aggravate social and political instability and could reverse the development advances made over the last several decades. By confronting these problems, we can save lives, reduce human suffering, lay the groundwork for sustainable economic development, and prevent adverse conditions from spilling across our borders.

We will build public-private partnerships that leverage resources, strengthen international cooperation, and help other countries build their institutional capacity to manage these problems. Good governance is a necessary condition for making sustainable gains against social and environmental problems because good governance brings problems to light, enables varied, creative solutions in the context of public debate, and holds governments accountable for results. We will encourage good governance, including through incentives in the Millennium Challenge Account.

HIV/AIDS: This disease is already devastating the health and education sectors and damaging economies in parts of sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean, where one-third of adults are infected in some countries. It is spreading rapidly in South and East Asia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia. Displaced persons and victims of conflict -- especially women and children -- are at particular risk of infection due to the disruption of family structures and health services, increased sexual violence, and increased socioeconomic vulnerability. To combat the spread of HIV/AIDS, the Department and USAID will emphasize a balanced and integrated approach including prevention, treatment, and care.

We will work with those foreign governments that are already providing leadership to combat HIV/AIDS, and persuade those that have not yet stepped up to do so. We will use education as a tool of prevention, to raise awareness of the strategy defined in the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief to combat the pandemic. In his 2003 State of the Union address, President Bush proposed a $15 billion, 5-year initiative, including $10 billion in new funding, to finance significantly increased prevention, care and treatment efforts in 14 of the most severely affected countries, and to continue ongoing assistance in other countries. Efforts to prevent transmission of the disease will include prevention and treatment of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and the "A-B-C" approach to behavior, emphasizing (1) Abstinence, (2) Being faithful, and (3 responsible use of Condoms to prevent HIV transmission

Health: Healthy citizens are essential for healthy economies and societies. The Department and USAID will emphasize capacity building and programs that:

  • Reduce the threat of infectious diseases. We will support prevention of disease transmission, care, and treatment for people living with these diseases through bilateral programs and diplomatic efforts, and promote technological advances toward their cures. We will support enhanced World Health Organization (WHO) capability to intervene to prevent the spread of new infectious diseases. We will support the Global Fund To Fight Aids, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, and ensure that it works in tandem with the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief to fight these diseases on all fronts.
  • Reduce infant and child mortality. We will expand programs to focus on the primary childhood killers - malnutrition and diseases spread through water and poor sanitation. While we will act directly through health interventions when necessary, we will continue to emphasize enhancing each country's capacity to plan, organize, and manage its own health sector.
  • Support reproductive and maternal health care. Programs will increase access to and use of quality reproductive and maternal health care, including encouraging abstinence, fidelity, voluntary family planning, life-saving care at delivery and immediately post-partum, and fully informed choice on the part of both partners. We will work to reduce unintended pregnancy and the incidence of abortion, improve maternal health, and promote the primary role of the family in reproductive and other health decision-making. In places where there are coercive policies, we will work to change them. We will work to improve the long-term capacity of local institutions, including the private sector, to provide quality reproductive and maternal health care.
Education: Broadly accessible, high-quality education is a powerful instrument for reducing poverty and inequality, improving health and social well-being, building democratic societies, and laying the basis for sustained economic growth. The Department and USAID will promote improved education globally, with a particular focus on the Muslim world. Development goals of the United Nations' Millennium Declaration call for universal primary education by 2015. Working toward this goal, the Department and USAID will support programs that:

  • Promote equal access to quality basic education. We will assist and encourage countries to improve their education policies, institutions, and practices in the classroom, and give families and communities a stronger role in educational decision-making. We will devote special efforts to reducing barriers to education for girls.
  • Implement international education commitments. We will work with donor partners to implement the commitments made at the 2000 World Educational Forum in Dakar, the G-8 Summits at Genoa and Kananaskis, and at the UN Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey. We will help developing countries address capacity gaps toward achieving the Global Education for All initiative.
Environment: Sound management of the environment is an essential component of sustainable development. With the many important international environmental agreements and declarations, much of the work of setting the goals and targets for sound resource and environmental management has been accomplished. The challenge now is to promote vigorous implementation to address issues such as ozone depletion, endangered species, over fishing, ocean pollution, forest management, climate change, and chemicals management. Simultaneously, we must address the needs of the many people who still lack access to safe drinking water, basic sanitation, and access to modern energy services. Understanding that environmental protection is critical to economic and social development, the Department and USAID will promote sustainable natural resource management and environmental conservation, including biodiversity. We also will expand international cooperation in the area of environmental governance. Partnerships with international financial institutions, other donors, and communities and civil society groups will be important for implementing programs that:

  • Increase capacity to protect the oceans and environment. We will enhance the environmental capacity of developing countries, improving their ability to create and maintain good domestic environmental governance. We will promote science and technology cooperation. We will help developing countries build accountable and transparent domestic institutions that will promote sound resource management and protect the environment by creating and safeguarding protected areas and combating illegal activities including illegal logging, trade in endangered species, and illegal fishing.
  • Build partnerships to deliver water, energy, and sound resource management. We will develop and expand partnerships with other governments, civil society, and the private sector to promote sound resource management focusing especially on potable water, energy, climate change, forests, and ecosystems, including oceans. The United States will continue its implementation of the $970 million effort to support water and sanitation projects. We will advance the clean energy partnerships to improve access to affordable, reliable, clean, and efficient energy. We will promote cooperation on climate change, using climate friendly technologies, increased carbon sequestration and global observation data, to produce cost-effective solutions. We will expand the Congo Basin Forest Partnership so that it promotes sustainable management of the resources of the region's forests. We will enhance management and protection of fragile ecosystems in the Arctic and Antarctic. We will maintain and expand our traditional leadership and commitment in the conservation of biodiversity.
  • Advance international environmental cooperation that supports trade and economic growth. We will negotiate workable procedures for the cross-border movement of biotechnology products without undermining trade. We will put into effect the Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants to ban or restrict the 12 most deadly global chemicals. We will develop a global program to address the threat that mercury poses to human health and environment without negatively affecting economic growth.
Migration: We will work in close partnership with the Department of Homeland Security to promote orderly and humane migration flows, both to and from the United States, and on the global level. As U.S. immigration policies have shown, legal migration contributes to prosperity for both sending and receiving countries. We will also aim to integrate security and counterterrorism concerns into multilateral and bilateral migration diplomacy. Finally, we will continue our efforts to protect vulnerable migrants, including asylum seekers, refugees, and victims of trafficking.

USG Partners and Cross-Cutting Programs
The following are key USG partners with whom we will coordinate to achieve this goal:

  • Department of Health and Human Services: HHS is a major partner in the area of HIV/AIDS.
  • Department of the Treasury: Treasury coordinates U.S. contributions to the World Bank and other multilateral development banks.
  • Department of Energy: DOE implements programs promoting the development and diffusion of innovative, environmentally sustainable energy-related technology.
  • Environmental Protection Agency: EPA provides expertise, education, and training in pollution prevention, natural resource management, and environmental enforcement and compliance.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: NOAA provides technical assistance and training in preventing ocean pollution, managing fish and other living marine resources, and marine scientific research.
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: FWS provides training and technical assistance to promote environmental protection and monitoring of wetlands and other areas.
  • U.S. Forest Service: USFS provides technical assistance and training to promote sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation.
  • U.S National Park Service: NPS provides expertise and training in creating and maintaining networks of national parks and protected areas.
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration: NASA provides technical expertise and guidance on the utilization of space and space hardware for both commercial and sustainable development purposes.
  • Department of Homeland Security: The Department and DHS work closely together to promote orderly and humane U.S. and international migration policies.
External Factors
The following are key factors, external to the Department and USAID, which could significantly affect the achievement of the goal:
  • Mutations of infectious diseases, or new human exposure to diseases.
  • Stigma and cultural practices affecting access to health diagnosis and treatment.
  • Price and availability of disease-fighting drugs, role of intellectual property rights.
  • Technological capacity to follow through on environmental agreements and overall global technological developments.
  • Social and environmental issues not a priority with some governments; diversion of attention and funds to other initiatives.
  • Government sensitivities to international involvement in "domestic" issues.
  • Speed and nature of global demographic changes.

Humanitarian Response

Minimize the human costs of displacement, conflicts and natural disasters.

Conflicts and natural disasters displace and kill people, threaten their health, divide families, disrupt economies, and slash living standards. An estimated 35 million people are currently uprooted from their homes, and the number of people displaced within their national borders has been increasing. New conflicts, greater instability, and further suffering can arise when affected states lack the capacity to respond effectively.

The United States has a long record of responding to humanitarian crises. U.S. humanitarian assistance protects U.S. interests as well as advances our values. Timely and effective intervention minimizes suffering, contains the crisis, reestablishes local government structures that provide lasting protection, and helps lay the foundation for sustainable development.

Humanitarian crises typically mobilize responses from donor governments, multilateral institutions, the private sector, and civil society organizations. By working in concert with others, we can maximize the resources brought to bear while minimizing the burden on the U.S. taxpayer. The Department and USAID will work with a variety of partners to:

  • Provide life-saving assistance and support for the transition to development. We will work with other donors to provide food, water, shelter, education, and health services to displaced and other vulnerable people, and help ensure that basic protection and institutions meet critical needs. We will seek to ensure equal access to protection for all populations affected by disasters, including refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and other conflict victims. We will help those suffering from natural or manmade disasters, while seeking to restore their capacity for self-reliance. While we will provide life-saving assistance regardless of political factors, we will seek to ensure that interventions do not empower the very people who have caused the problem.
  • Uphold international standards. The Department and USAID will urge our partners to adhere to humanitarian law and principles, including neutrality in refugee camps and safe access for humanitarian workers, as well as minimum assistance standards. We will implement codes of conduct prohibiting exploitation, with emphasis on protection of women and children. We will encourage new and existing signatories to uphold the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. We will support programs that deter and address the consequences of violence against women. We will encourage our implementing partners to improve standards and accountability.
  • Promote durable solutions for displaced persons. With USAID, the Department will favor programs that facilitate durable solutions for refugees and IDPs. Such programs should aim to promote both economic self-reliance and political tolerance. In accepting refugees to the United States, the Department will work with Congress to establish refugee ceilings based on the number of overseas refugees in need of resettlement and our capacity, as well as the capacity of other countries, to respond. We will seek to maximize the number of refugees we admit under such ceilings. We will implement security, health, and antifraud measures in refugee processing, and will work to maintain a nationwide network of service providers to assist arriving refugees become self-sufficient, fully integrated members of U.S. society.
  • Improve disaster prevention and response capabilities. We will enhance early warning systems and encourage governments to use them to anticipate or manage vulnerabilities. We will also help build local and global response capabilities, linking humanitarian response with longer term development goals. We will ensure that local women are involved in the solution. We will promote accountable governance, democracy, and free press as the best defenses against future disasters. We will improve coordination among international donors to ensure effective responses to crises, including coordination with the U.S. military in cases of armed conflict, and reevaluate existing development programs for any impact on future disasters.
USG Partners and Cross-Cutting Programs
The following are key USG partners with whom we will coordinate to achieve this goal:
  • Department of Homeland Security: DHS is responsible for refugee adjudications for resettlement into the United States and for admitting such individuals upon arrival.
  • Department of Health and Human Services: HHS is a key partner on refugee resettlement and refugee health issues. The Department and USAID support the Centers for Disease Control's work with the United Nations and other humanitarian partners.
  • Department of Defense: Owing to the increasing complexity of humanitarian crises and involvement of military actors, DOD is a key partner in the USG's response.
External Factors
The following are key factors, external to the Department and USAID, which could significantly affect the achievement of the goal:
  • Security concerns inhibiting international relief efforts, slowing or impairing our ability to resettle refugees.
  • Coordination abilities of international organizations, which often have gaps in mandates.
  • Political and material support of foreign governments and NGOs.