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Foreign Aid Reform

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Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is guided by the principles of Catholic social teaching that promote the sanctity, intrinsic human dignity, and rights of all members of society and instructs us to pay special attention to those who face chronic poverty, conflict, disease, illiteracy and exploitation.

CRS' perspective on foreign assistance reform is also shaped by more than 65 years of experience in providing immediate relief to communities devastated by manmade and natural disasters and facilitating community-led, sustainable development. Throughout its history, CRS has been an active development partner of the U.S. government and has seen both the successes and failures of foreign assistance.

CRS Policy Position

Effective reform requires comprehensive repair of the fundamental flaws of U.S. foreign assistance. These include the lack of coherent policy guidance; poor inter-agency coordination; and loss of capacity and independence of civilian agencies:

  1. Define poverty reduction and human development as the central purposes of development assistance.
  2. Emphasize development effectiveness over aid effectiveness.
  3. Restore U.S. civilian capacity and authority to manage foreign assistance. Read more …
  4. Strengthen capacity of local civil society to address development challenges.
  5. Require a balanced development strategy tailored to beneficiary needs.
  6. Strengthen resources to address complex needs and meet global commitments.

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