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Kaine, Rubio bill authorizes USAID to expand humanitarian work

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U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) have introduced bipartisan legislation to authorize the New Partnerships Initiative at the U.S. Agency for International Development, and require the USAID administrator to meet certain criteria when implementing the program.

NPI helps USAID collaborate with local non-profits on humanitarian work by identifying new partners and sources of funding, streamlining access to resources, promoting local leadership, and providing training. The bill would establish NPI through statute and authorize adequate funding for the program through Fiscal Year 2026, which would expand the agency’s humanitarian partner base and boost USAID’s effectiveness abroad by working with more organizations connected to the populations they serve.

“The New Partnerships Initiative was founded on the principle that greater diversity and competition among USAID’s local partner base would lead to better and more effective humanitarian work,” Kaine said. “I’m proud to introduce this legislation, which would help the agency build safer, healthier, and stronger communities around the world.”

“USAID plays an important role in our nation’s foreign policy initiatives,” Rubio said. “The bill would authorize USAID’s New Partnerships Initiative to allow smaller organizations to better assist local entities and make the agency more effective for America’s allies and partners.”

USAID depends on the work of local partners — from academic and business leaders to NGOs and humanitarian responders, among others — around the world to achieve our nation’s mission of promoting democratic values and advancing a more free, peaceful and prosperous world.

Following a 2018 bipartisan letter that Kaine wrote to former USAID Administrator Mark Green requesting more agency cooperation with non-profit organizations, the New Partnerships Initiative was created to help implement critical assistance programs abroad.

Specifically, this legislation would:

  • Authorize $250 million for each fiscal year from FY2022 through FY2026 for New Partnerships Initiative program grants and increase the number of awards to new and underutilized partners;
  • Simplify access to USAID resources;
  • Lower barriers to entry, including by streamlining the application process for more underutilized organizations to work with USAID;
  • Strengthen the capacities of local organizations to help partner countries sustain their own development; and
  • Require the USAID Administrator to submit an annual report to Congress on the performance of NPI, and meet certain requirements regarding program management and recruitment of NGOs.

To read the bill text, click here.