WASHINGTON (April 24, 2017) – A bipartisan delegation of Senators and leaders from the public and private sectors traveled to India and Nepal with the global poverty-fighting organization CARE to see how U.S. investments build healthier, stronger and more resilient communities.
“As we face 31 percent cuts to the U.S. foreign assistance budget, this Learning Tour was an important opportunity to showcase the incredibly important impact these programs have on families and communities around the world,” said Michelle Nunn, president and CEO of CARE. “While India and Nepal have both made major strides to reduce poverty and improve health indicators, continued U.S. engagement is imperative in order to drive continued progress and maintain stability, while increasing prosperity in the region. It is particularly important that we continue to invest in the support of women and girls. In partnership with the public and private sectors, we can continue building a smart, sustainable approach to development and ensure we maintain our leadership role in the world. We saw firsthand the changes that U.S. foreign assistance has in saving lives, combating poverty and ensuring our own national security.”
The delegation began its journey in India, the world’s second-most-populous country. In the seven decades since its independence, India has seen ground-breaking economic growth and impressive progress on its health and development indicators. That said, the wealth disparity in India is staggering, with about 30 percent of the population living on less than $2 per day. Many of those people are women and girls, who often bear the brunt of poverty, facing limited economic opportunities, barriers to education and chronic food and nutrition insecurity.
After spending several days in India, the delegation traveled to neighboring Nepal, which remains among the poorest and least-developed nations in the world, where a quarter of its population lives below the poverty line. Beyond persistent development challenges, Nepal has also grappled with several natural disasters and climatic shocks, including two devastating earthquakes in the spring of 2015, which killed nearly 9,000 people and caused an estimated $7 billion in damage.
On this five-day trip, the delegation saw firsthand how U.S. investments help lift families and communities out of poverty and empower women and girls to reach their full potential. The highlight of the trip included field visits to programs in New Delhi and Bihar, India and Kathmandu and Kavre District, Nepal, where the delegation sat down with women and girls in their communities to see how U.S. investments are transforming their lives and promoting improved health, better access to nutritous food and expanded economic opportunities.
Participants in CARE’s April 2017 Learning Tour to India and Nepal included:
- Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)
- Michèle Flournoy – Co-founder and CEO, Center for a New American Security
- Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
- Tom Mancinelli – Foreign Affairs Legislative Assistant, Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)
- Rahul Mehta – President, Mehta Family Foundation
- Scott Morris – Director of the U.S. Development Policy Initiative, Center for Global Development
- Nancy Powell – U.S. Ambassador to Nepal, 2009-2011; U.S. Ambassador to India, 2012-2015
- Michelle Nunn – President and CEO, CARE USA
- David Ray – Vice President of Policy and Advocacy, CARE USA
- Matt Rimkunas – Legislative Director, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
- Liz Schrayer – President and CEO, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition
- Mary Sorteberg – Registered Nurse and spouse of Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
For more information on CARE’s Learning Tours, please visit: www.care.org/LearningTours. The CARE Learning Tours program is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. Last year, CARE worked in 94 countries and reached more than 80 million people around the world. To learn more, please visit www.care.org.
Nicole Ellis, +1-202-595-2828, firstname.lastname@example.org