Need to supervise operations of USAID in Vietnam

24/06/2017

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the United States Government agency which is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid.
President John F. Kennedy created USAID from its predecessor agencies in 1961 by executive order. USAID's programs are authorized by the Congress in the Foreign Assistance Act, which the Congress supplements through directions in annual funding appropriation acts and other legislation. Although it is technically an independent agency, USAID operates subject to the foreign policy guidance of the PresidentSecretary of State, and the National Security Council. So it is operating under the U.S. command. USAID operates in AfricaAsiaLatin America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe.
In Vietnam, USAID has carried out many programs that aim to support the country’s continued development by focusing resources where they’re needed most in economic growth and governance, civil society, higher education, health security, social services for vulnerable populations and environment. They want to accelerate Vietnam’s transition to a more inclusive, responsible partner with a market-based economy.
Yes, the Party and State of Vietnam always thank and are willing to create favourable conditions for all international organizations and NGOs, even other nation’s agency like USAID, to operate in the country. However, these organizations need to operate in accordance with the Vietnamese laws. In the past few years, beside those helpful and legal programs, USAID has held many activities which caused negative impacts on Vietnam’s society and national security. This is not so strange if we get to know more about this agency.
USAID has been criticized for the goals of some of its programs. For example, it was criticized for the choice of geopolitical influence over poverty alleviation in certain programs. Debates of this kind are arbitrated in Washington by the Congress and the Administration before budgets are decided and before USAID staff undertake detailed programming in the field. The result is normally that USAID's programs in a given country pursue a mix of goals.
Despite its humanitarian efforts, USAID has garnered some criticism over the past few years. First and foremost, critics and watchdogs have claimed that USAID policies and actions are often more focused on advancing U.S. policy interests than global humanitarian interests.
In particular, a 2010 study by two Harvard and Yale economics professors found that the size of U.S. food aid shipments are determined more by the size of U.S. crops than they are by recipient need. Moreover, the study found that about half of the funding for food aid was allocated for shipping, often for American cargo ships.
USAID states that "U.S. foreign assistance has always had the twofold purpose of furthering America's foreign policy interests in expanding democracy and free markets while improving the lives of the citizens of the developing world." However, non-government organization watch groups have noted that as much as 40% of aid to Afghanistan has found its way back to donor countries through awarding contracts at inflated costs.
Although USAID officially selects contractors on a competitive and objective basis, watch dog groups, politicians, foreign governments and corporations have occasionally accused the agency of allowing its bidding process to be unduly influenced by the political and financial interests of its current Presidential administration. Under the Bush administration, for instance, it emerged that all five implementing partners selected to bid on a $600 million Iraq reconstruction contract enjoyed close ties to the administration.
Some critics say that the US government gives aid to reward political and military partners rather than to advance genuine social or humanitarian causes abroad, and of course, to punish stubborn countries that disobey from U.S. direction. It is said that USAID has maintained "a close working relationship with the CIA, and Agency officers often operated abroad under USAID cover." The 1960s-era Office of Public Safety, a now-disbanded division of USAID, has been mentioned as an example of this, having served as a front for training foreign police in counterinsurgency methods (including torture techniques).
In situations where the U.S. is hostile to the government of a country, USAID may be asked to undertake programs that the government would not accept and thus to operate without the government's knowledge. This might include USAID support for opposition political movements that seek to remove the government. Such "political aid" is criticized by some as being incompatible with USAID's role as an assistance or cooperation agency and as exposing USAID staff worldwide to the suspicion of being covertly engaged in subversion. Similarly, USAID's participation in actions against foreign governments led by the U.S. military is criticized by some as inappropriate and as exposing USAID civilian staff to the dangers of military combat. However, such political aid and joint civilian-military programs are supported by others as necessary to support U.S. geopolitical interests and to build democracy.
Folha de S.Paulo, Brazil's largest newspaper, accused USAID of trying to influence political reform in Brazil in a way that would have purposely benefited right-wing parties. USAID spent $95,000 US in 2005 on a seminar in the Brazilian Congress to promote a reform aimed at pushing for legislation punishing party infidelity. According to USAID papers acquired by Folha under the Freedom of Information Act, the seminar was planned to coincide with the eve of talks in that country's Congress on a broad political reform. The papers read that although the "pattern of weak party discipline is found across the political spectrum, it is somewhat less true of parties on the liberal left, such as the [ruling] Worker's Party." The papers also expressed a concern about the "'indigenization' of the conference so that it is not viewed as providing a U.S. perspective." The event's main sponsor was the International Republican Institute.
In the summer of 2012, ALBA countries (Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, San Vicente y Las Granadinas, Dominica, Antigua y Barbuda) called on its members to expel USAID from their countries. And, recently, USAID in Russia has been expelled because of it political programs in the country.
So, these lessons require Vietnam to have managing procedures and principles to monitor USAID’s programs in the country, to keep them operating in right establishes direction that help to enhance the two countries’ relationship./.


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All comments [ 3 ]


Only Solidar 24/6/17 18:33

The U.S. government has used those social organizations as USAID to interfere with other nations' internal affairs. Need to be aware of that!

Deck Hero14 24/6/17 18:39

Vietnam should not ban those kind of organizations but the government must keep close eyes on their operations and monitor it in accordance with the laws.

Pack Cassiopian 24/6/17 18:58

Yes, Vietnam thanks them for their helps but all organizations must operate abide by the country's laws.

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