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16/08/2011: USAID Mission Director Steele, Ambassador Cuisia Discuss Progress of PFG

Ambassador Jose Cuisia, left, and USAID Mission Director Gloria Steele

16 AUGUST 2011, WASHINGTON, D.C. – USAID Mission Director for the Philippines Gloria Steele met yesterday with Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose L. Cuisia, Jr.  and discussed, among other topics, the progress of the Partnership for Growth (PFG) initiative.  Under U.S. President Barack Obama’s Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development, the PFG is a new framework for deepening and strengthening U.S. engagement with host country governments to promote and support broad-based economic growth as the primary development objective.

Ambassador Cuisia congratulated Ms. Steele for her leadership in convening a joint technical team that identified constraints to economic growth in the Philippines.  A PFG Joint Country Action Plan will be drafted that aims to be “collaborative, inclusive and sustainable for the Philippines to achieve broad-based economic growth.”

The Ambassador also welcomed the statement of USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah, conveyed during the meeting with Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario last June 23, that the PFG-Philippines will offer “policy partnerships and deeper economic engagements.”

Confirming her “very fruitful” first year as USAID Mission Director for the Philippines, Ms. Steele said that planning teams are currently working on specific requirements under the PFG priorities framework. Ms. Steele also discussed the agency’s key programs in health and education, as well as peace and development projects in Mindanao.

In January 2011, the Philippines was selected as one of the initial four countries, and the only one in Asia, for the PFG.  Among the basis was the country’s performance on the Millennium Challenge Corporation's selection criteria, track record in partnering with the U.S. government, and potential for continued economic growth.  END