Joint Annual Review of the USAID Portfolio with the Government of Senegal

Minister,

Director of the Directions de la Coopération Économique et Financière (DCEF),

Distinguished partners and employees of ministries and implementing agencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a real pleasure to review with the Government of Senegal the portfolio of U.S. development assistance provided  through USAID.

On behalf of the U.S. government, I commend the strong and sustained collaboration between USAID and officials from the Government of Senegal.

I would particularly like to note Senegal’s timely, strategic, and measured response to the threat of Ebola last year.  Only one  case slipped into the country.

Your leadership in opening a Humanitarian Corridor to the affected countries facilitated an international response to the outbreak.  It also helped mitigate a potential disaster in West Africa.  Thank you again for the cooperation you showed to support our government’s efforts.

Regarding our development portfolio, I, on behalf of our entire team at the Embassy, would like first to express our appreciation for the work of the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Planning.  We appreciate your efforts with the line ministries in facilitating implementation of our government-to-government activities.  We strongly encourage this continuing dialogue.

We also appreciate the ministries’ collective support of the steering committees that monitor USAID programs and helped us prepare for today’s Review.

Overall, the United States provided more than $119.5 million (69 billion fCFA) in assistance to Senegal through USAID in 2014.

This amount includes:

  • $57 million in Health,
  • $33 million in Economic Growth and Agriculture,
  • $22.5 million in Education, and
  • $7 million toward Good Governance.

These figures represent the fourth year of the current five year USAID budget cycle.  Over the last four years, USAID has disbursed a remarkable 86 percent of funds obligated.  This is an important criterion in evaluating the efficiency of a donor portfolio.

In all these programs, USAID channels part of its assistance directly to government agencies, local NGOs and the private sector.  This direct assistance to Senegalese entities boosts business acumen and stimulates the growth of local institutions while improving management systems.

In 2014, the U.S. Global Health and the President’s Malaria initiatives continued to help Senegal meet the UN’s Millennium Development Goals for Health.  They contributed to a 55 percent decrease in under-five child mortality in the last decade.  This decrease is one of the biggest drops in all of Africa.

USAID helped expand access to quality health services by training some 10,000 community health workers last year.  It also supported expansion of community-based health insurance.

Assistance to the Ministry of Health and the private sector resulted in a 25 percent increase in the prevalence of modern family planning in just two years.  This is a notable step forward in improving the health and well-being of mothers and children.

Continuing support to the National Malaria Control Program (PNLP) helps fund comprehensive malaria prevention and treatment interventions.  These interventions are helping Senegal move closer to eliminating this deadly disease.

During the last rainy season, the PNLP provided 600,000 children in Kédougou, Kolda, Sédhiou, and Tambacounda with antimalarial medicine.  The PNLP expects do so again this year.

Through the new Global Health Security Agenda, the U.S. is supporting Senegal’s responsiveness to animal and human disease outbreaks.  We look forward to strong collaboration with the many ministries implicated in preventing, treating and controlling outbreaks of infectious disease.

Agriculture, a critical engine of economic growth and poverty reduction for Senegal, is another key component of the USAID program.

Through Feed the Future, President Obama’s global food security initiative, the U.S. helps stimulate agriculture sector growth and improve nutrition in Senegal.

In 2014, more than 78,000 households benefitted from Feed the Future interventions.  These interventions include training more than 113,000 farmers on improved technologies and management.

Best practices from this training resulted in sales of 137,000 metric tons of processed food grains worth $19.1 million (11 billion fCFA).

The United States has also helped increase the fisheries sector’s resilience in the face of climate change.  Our programs addressed illegal fishing, to encourage preservation of protein-rich seafood populations while boosting the important fisheries sector.  As a result, more than 603,000 hectares of marine and coastal resources are now better managed.

USAID responded to Plan Sénégal Emergent’s focus on increasing certified seed production.  It brought together teaching institutions and the private sector to develop curriculum for certified seed production, for a short-term certification for field technicians, and for degrees for seed project managers.

By the time it ended last year, USAID’s flagship Programme d’eau potable et d’assainissement du Millénaire (PEPAM), a water and sanitation project, provided 120,000 people access to an improved drinking water source.  It provided 73,000 people with improved sanitation facilities.  It also brought private providers of clean-water infrastructure closer to village-level clients.

We are committed to supporting Senegal’s vision for the Education sector – the Programme d’Amélioration de la Qualité, de l’Équité et de la Transparence (PAQUET).

USAID is working hand-in-hand with the Ministry of Education to develop a plan for our investments in this sector for the next five years.

These new programs will focus on two core objectives:

  • a focus on reading in the earliest years of education, and
  • improving access to education for youth in the Casamance and Kédougou regions.

USAID continues to promote Democratic Governance and social stability by working with key government counterparts and civil society.  Our engagement comes through

  • technical assistance,
  • implementing priority reforms, and
  • connecting citizens with government.

This effort includes legal reforms such as the political parties’ bill, the land tenure reform process, and the mining code.  These and other government reforms will continue to lead Senegal toward improved transparency and development.

The Parliamentary Assistance and Civic Engagement project provided technical assistance to members of parliament.  It also gave logistical support to the National Assembly.  These projects included:

  • training of 90 parliamentarians on public finances and legislative law, and
  • rehabilitation of the Assembly’s library and digitization of its archives.

Despite these substantial achievements, challenges remain for the U.S-Senegal partnership.

In Health, strong governance and definition of roles in the Ministry are essential for ensuring the success of Senegal’s ambitious Universal Health Care program.

In line with the government’s new strategy, USAID’s new water, sanitation and hygiene program will focus on engaging the private sector to provide these critical services.

But close engagement with and support from the government is essential to ensure effective implementation and coordination of partners in the water sector.

We appreciate the enactment of strategic policy reforms as planned in the Plan Sénégal Emergent and the New Alliance framework to create a favorable business environment for investments in the agriculture sector.  However, we encourage the government to accelerate the pace of reforms.

Disruptions in the school year caused by strikes by both teachers and inspectors threaten success of our shared objectives in education.

More fundamentally, these strikes jeopardize the chance for children to acquire the skills and knowledge they need to excel in school and contribute to Senegal’s development.

The stakes are high for the successful implementation of the Government’s ambitious reform agenda.  Decentralization reforms under way in Act III significantly affect all sectors, and service delivery in particular.

We encourage the government to follow through with meaningful fiscal decentralization.  We also encourage the government to permit qualified local governments to raise revenues from other sources.

We applaud the decision to roll out the reforms first in the Casamance to demonstrate that the population’s demands for improved service delivery have been heard.  USAID will continue to partner with both central and local government to support this initiative.

We are also looking forward to learning how the proposed “territorial pole” might help advance development of the Casamance by strengthening initiatives and projects already operating in the region.

Let me conclude by saying the United States remains committed to strengthening our collaboration through USAID to

  • improve the health and food security of families, especially mothers and children,
  • get more children to go to school and learn to read, and
  • ensure more eligible workers have avenues to earn a decent living and provide for their families.

We are entering the final year of our five-year planning cycle with the Government of Senegal.  We look forward to together developing new programs under extended assistance agreements that align with the Plan Sénégal Emergent.

Thank you for your kind attention.