Obama to review US progress on global development

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is taking stock of his work to boost the standard of living in developing countries with a keynote address to a summit on global development.

The summit, coming near the end of Obama’s term and as he looks to cement his legacy on a range of issues, is being held Wednesday in Washington to review progress on the issue of global development during his presidency and recommit to tackling problems that continue to make life difficult for the approximately 1 billion people living in poverty worldwide.

Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, says numerous Obama initiatives are making a difference around the globe.

In an opinion piece for The Huffington Post website, Rice cited several examples. She said more than $43 billion had been raised to help build the infrastructure needed for a program launched in 2013 and designed to bring reliable electricity to 60 million homes and businesses in countries across Africa by 2030.

More than $20 billion leveraged for a nutrition initiative is sharing new seeds, techniques and technologies to 9 million farmers in countries from Bangladesh to Guatemala.

On global health, Rice said the world is “within striking distance” of an AIDS-free generation, partly through the administration’s continuation of President George W. Bush’s initiative to combat AIDS and HIV in Africa. Efforts to strengthen world health systems and promote maternal health have saved the lives of 200,000 mothers and 4.6 million children.

She also highlighted U.S. efforts to help young entrepreneurs and others around the world network and share ideas.

Scores of development workers, representatives from the public and private sectors, diplomats, entrepreneurs and others are attending the daylong gathering at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, near the White House. Speeches and panel discussions are on topics ranging from global health to food security to government transparency and accountability.

Rice said there will be “no shortage of challenges” facing the next administration, “but there are few greater opportunities to address those challenges, enhance the United States’ own security and lift the lives of billions, than by advancing inclusive global development.”

“Together, we must recommit ourselves to the vital task of expanding dignity and opportunity across the globe,” she wrote.