Address by
Randall L. Tobias
U.S. Director of Foreign Assistance and Administrator, USAID

Georgetown University - October 10, 2006

Ambassador Randall L. Tobias gives the keynote address at the Fourth Annual Fritz Institute Lecture on Humanitarian Relief, accompanied by (left to right) Lynn C. Fritz, Director General of Fritz Institute, Robert L. Gallucci, Dean, Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and Susan F. Martin, Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University.

Some...fear that "development assistance" is now being overtaken by foreign policy concerns-and that short-term goals will overtake our long-term development objectives. As many here have heard me say before, I couldn't disagree more....empowering human potential and achieving transformational development requires more than a short-term response or even a long-term provision of services.

Simply responding to emergencies as they arise is not adequate. When we respond we must also assure that we do not harm the country's developmental track, and that we try to improve the capacity of the country to cope...If we are to spend the American people's money wisely - we must focus our efforts on both immediate needs and mid- and long-term reconstruction in a continuous way.

History has also shown us that humanitarian crises cannot always be mitigated or managed with national capacity, no matter how much training is given or preparedness is achieved. There will always be responses that require great international effort. So expanding the base of donor governments, as well as greater involvement from international organizations, NGOs and the private sector is also a necessary, indeed essential objective.

We must continue to encourage broadening the circle of humanitarian assistance donors to include nations that have not traditionally played a role in humanitarian assistance.

- Ambassador Randall L. Tobias
U.S. Director of Foreign Assistance and Administrator, USAID

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