February 6, 2023

Latest on U.S.-Africa ties: Sexual violence, world aids day and foreign assistance

President Joe Biden, joined by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, delivers remarks about student loan forgiveness, Wednesday, August 24, 2022, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. (Official White House Photo by Erin Scott)
President Joe Biden, joined by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, delivers remarks about student loan forgiveness, Wednesday, August 24, 2022, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. (Official White House Photo by Erin Scott)

Ties between Africa and the United States continued to move forward on Wednesday with focus on the world aids day, sexual violence and foreign assistance.

A Proclamation on World AIDS Day, 2022

The White House
Presidential Actions 
November 30, 2022

On World AIDS Day, we recommit to ending the HIV epidemic in the United States and around the world and rededicate ourselves to fighting the discrimination that too often keeps people with HIV from getting the services they need and living the full lives they deserve.

     It was long hard to imagine, but today, we are within striking distance of eliminating HIV transmission worldwide.  Thanks to the incredible dedication of scientists, activists, health care workers, caregivers, and so many others, we have made enormous progress preventing, detecting, and treating HIV; reducing case counts and AIDS-related deaths; and freeing millions of people to enjoy long, healthy lives.  Still, not everyone has equal access to that care.  And for the more than 38 million people around the world now living with HIV — especially members of the LGBTQI+ community, communities of color, women, and girls — a diagnosis is still life-altering.  We can do better.

     When I became President, we reestablished the White House Office of National AIDS Policy and released a roadmap to accelerate efforts to end the HIV epidemic in the United States by 2030.  Federal agencies have committed to nearly 400 related actions, working with stakeholders across the country to make the latest advances in HIV prevention, diagnosis, and treatment available to everyone.  I have asked the Congress for $850 million to increase the use of preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP), expand treatment, and fight the stigma that stops many people from getting care.  We are working to remove barriers to employment, with our Armed Forces, for example, ending blanket restrictions on HIV-positive service members being deployed or commissioned.  And we are calling on States to repeal or reform so-called HIV criminalization laws, which wrongly punish people for exposing others to HIV.  These outdated laws have no basis in science, and they serve to discourage testing and further marginalize HIV-positive people.

     Our important work to end HIV extends far beyond our borders too, with continued support for the game-changing, bipartisan President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).  Since 2003, PEPFAR has helped at least 12 high disease-burdened countries bring HIV under control and has saved over 25 million lives.  Its efforts to make HIV prevention and treatment services more accessible have achieved a 65 percent reduction in new HIV cases in males 15 to 24 years old and a 50 percent reduction in new HIV cases among females the same age since 2010.  And its flagship Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe (DREAMS) public-private partnership has reached millions of adolescent girls and young women, reducing new HIV infections in areas where the program operates.  My Administration has also pledged up to $6 billion to the Seventh Replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria — an initiative that has saved an estimated 50 million lives to date.  I am asking other international donors to match that commitment so we can together deliver on the promise of health and well-being for millions around the world.

     We still have a hard road ahead, especially in addressing racial and gender gaps in our health systems, which have long driven inequitable HIV outcomes at home and abroad.  But as we today honor the 700,000 Americans and 40 million lives lost worldwide to AIDS-related illnesses over the years, we have new hope in our hearts.  We finally have the scientific understanding, treatments, and tools to build an AIDS-free future where everyone — no matter who they are, where they come from, or whom they love — can get the care and respect they deserve.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 1, 2022, as World AIDS Day.  I urge the Governors of the United States and its Commonwealths and Territories, the appropriate officials of all units of government, and the American people to join the HIV community in activities to remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS and to provide support, dignity, and compassion to people with HIV.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-seventh.

                                                                                                                             JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

Highlighting the U.S. Government’s Commitment to Preventing and Responding to Conflict-Related Sexual Violence

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
November 30, 2022

The United States is committed to preventing and responding to all forms of gender-based violence globally, including conflict-related sexual violence. The forthcoming update to the U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally recommits us to these efforts. After taking part in the United Kingdom’s inaugural Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in 2014, the United States will reinvigorate its global commitments through its participation in the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) International Conference, November 28-29, 2022, during the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. This conference will showcase progress made over the last 10 years since the launch of PSVI and secure commitments to action from the international community. Jennifer Klein, Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Gender Policy Council, will deliver high-level remarks on behalf of the United States and highlight U.S. commitments to prevent and respond to conflict-related sexual violence, which include:

  • Issuing a Presidential Memorandum on Promoting Accountability for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, which will commit the U.S. government to fully exercising existing authorities to promote justice and accountability for acts of conflict-related sexual violence; devoting the necessary resources for reporting on conflict-related sexual violence incidents and training on gender-based violence issues; and broadening engagement with partners to encourage establishment and use of their own tools to promote justice and accountability.
  • Prioritizing gender-based violence prevention and response, including through the expansion of the United States’ flagship Safe from the Start initiative that ensures gender-based violence prevention and response is prioritized, integrated, and coordinated across humanitarian responses from the outset of crises, and continued investment in the Voices Against Violence Initiative, which provides access to services, protection, and justice to survivors of extreme forms of gender-based violence.
  • Committing an additional $400,000 to the United State’s annual contribution of $1.75 million to the Office of the UN Special Representative to the Secretary General (SRSG) on Sexual Violence in Conflict, supporting the SRSG’s work to promote justice and accountability, foster national ownership and leadership for a sustainable, survivor-centered response, and address the root causes of conflict-related sexual violence.
  • Supporting civil society efforts, through a $10 million investment, to investigate and document conflict-related sexual violence in line with the Murad Code in the pursuit of truth and justice for victims and survivors, and accountability for crimes involving violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, and committing an additional $2 million for survivor-centered, trauma-informed approaches to fostering survivor resilience during and after conflict.
  • Incorporating a gender perspective across U.S. foreign policy, including through implementation of the U.S. National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality; U.S. Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security; U.S. Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability; U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally; and U.S. Strategy to Anticipate, Prevent and Respond to Atrocities. The forthcoming update to the S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally incorporates gender-based violence risks, prevention, and response as part of U.S. national security and human rights efforts to promote peace, security, and democracy around the world. The Department will release this Global GBV Strategy in December.

USAID Hosts First Public Meeting Of The Newly Relaunched Advisory Committee On Voluntary Foreign Aid

United States Agency for International Development
Media Advisory
November 30, 2022

On Friday, December 2, at 10:15 a.m. EST, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will convene the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACVFA) for its first public meeting with its newly appointed membership

The meeting will include remarks from USAID Administrator Samantha Power and ACVFA Chair Nisha Biswal, Senior Vice President at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as two panel discussions on pressing global challenges including food security, climate resilience, democracy, and anti-corruption.

The Committee, which was first established following World War II, has evolved over the decades to play a key role in fostering cooperation between the U.S. government and a range of development organizations, and it has provided a platform for civil society to engage with USAID and help inform its approach to U.S. foreign assistance. 

Media who wish to attend in person must RSVP(link is external) by Thursday, December 1, at 5:00 p.m. 

Media wishing to attend virtually may RSVP here(link is external)

USAID Celebrates Sustainable Digital Development With 2022 USAID Digital Development Awards

United States Agency for International Development
Press Release
November 30, 2022

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is working toward a future where digital technology promotes inclusive growth, fosters resilient and democratic societies, and empowers everyone, including the most vulnerable and marginalized – true vision of inclusive development for a digital age. In an effort to recognize colleagues and partners that are collaborating with countries and communities to work toward sustainable growth and resilience, USAID is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Digital Development Awards (the Digis). 

The Digis recognize and celebrate USAID projects and activities that embrace the Agency’s strategic goals of improving development and humanitarian assistance outcomes through the use of digital technology and strengthening open, secure, and inclusive digital ecosystems. These ecosystems can help drive economic empowerment and financial inclusion, advance national security, support accountability and transparency in governance, and make development and humanitarian assistance more efficient and effective. 

This year’s winners showcase USAID’s work in digital development around the world: 

  • USAID/Colombia: Rural Finance Initiative, implemented by Chemonics, for developing a mobile phone-based system for rural smallholders and urban-based, low-income groups to conduct real-time, peer-to-peer financial transactions. 
  • USAID/Regional Development Mission for Asia: Digital Asia Accelerator, implemented by DAI’s Digital Frontiers, part of the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership for educating and training businesses and individuals, especially youth, on digital safety and cybersecurity best practices in Southeast Asia and Mongolia.
  • USAID/Zambia: U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative Vector, implemented by Abt Associates, for deploying a suite of digital tools to support map-based data collection, monitoring, and capacity building to improve malaria control programs at the sub-district level.
  • USAID/Georgia: Economic Security Program, implemented by DAI, for providing training on information communication technology to the country’s workforce and connecting local artisans to online markets.
  • USAID/Nepal: Building Hope Along the Karnali River Basin, implemented by MercyCorps Nepal, for customizing mobile phone applications and interactive voice responses to manage, monitor, and educate remote farmers and low-income individuals about cash and voucher assistance programs during emergencies. 

USAID’s Innovation, Technology, and Research Hub received nearly 200 applications from around the world for this year’s awards. Each project was judged on the ability to deploy digital technology or support the digital ecosystem, as outlined in USAID’s Digital Strategy.

Please follow the USAID Innovation, Technology, and Research Hub on Twitter(link is external) for updates on our digital development efforts and learn more about the Digis here.

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