Reps. Weber and Frankel Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Expand USAID, Israel International Development Program

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Washington, March 18, 2019 | comments
Washington, D.C. – Today, Representatives Randy Weber (TX-14-R) and Lois Frankel (FL-21-D) introduced legislation to enhance development cooperation in the areas of water resources, agriculture and energy storage between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Israel in developing countries.

“The shared desire of the United States and Israel to see others thrive is foundational to our partnership,” said Rep. Weber. “Developmental aid ultimately seeks to provide self-sustainability to countries as they develop into future global marketplace competitors. This legislation maximizes on our continued partnership as we seek to expand the reach and effectiveness of our aid.”

“For decades, America and Israel have provided international aid based on our shared values and cultures of innovation,” said Rep. Frankel. “This legislation would expand the reach of our important partnership and improve lives around the world.”

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Shortly after its founding, Israel established MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, to spread its wealth of knowledge to developing countries. MASHAV has helped lift entire communities out of poverty by focusing on capacity-building and training in the areas of education, women’s empowerment, food security, humanitarian aid, and technology innovation. USAID has a long history of partnering with MASHAV in many of these development areas.

USAID and Israel are currently finalizing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work together in the areas of water resources, agriculture and energy storage. This project will build on the joint efforts of Power Africa, a USAID initiative to double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa. Frankel’s legislation would support the MOU by establishing a U.S.-Israel cooperative program in those specific areas, authorize $2 million each year for the collaboration during for Fiscal Years 2020-2024, and seek to leverage public-private partnerships to support international development.
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