Dr. Rajiv Shah Cites AJWS during Speech on International Development

New York, NY; January 24, 2011—In his speech entitled, “The Modern Development Enterprise,” delivered recently at an event hosted by the Center for Global Development, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah praised American Jewish World Service’s (AJWS’s) international development work. Dr. Shah mentioned AJWS while discussing the crucial role faith-based organizations play in empowering communities in developing countries. Administrator Shah stated:

“But I’m also proud to know that we support a wide-range of faith-based organizations, from Samaritan’s Purse to the American Jewish World Service.

“Organizations of faith not only express the moral values of millions of Americans, they also provide some of the most dependable support systems for millions in the developing world…

“Our success depends on listening to communities of faith, connecting with them deeply, and supporting the vital work they perform around the world.”

While AJWS does not actually receive funding from USAID at this time, the organization has advised various government agencies on international development issues. AJWS president Ruth W. Messinger served on the Obama Task Force on Global Poverty and Development and recently met with representatives from USAID and the USDA to advise them on President Obama’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future.

Through grants to more than 400 community-based organizations throughout Africa, Asia and the Americas, AJWS enables grassroots leaders to implement their visions for strengthening civil society, to organize coalitions to defend the human rights of the most marginalized and vulnerable and to develop local economies that are sovereign and sustainable.

“We are thrilled that Administrator Shah recognized AJWS and expressed solidarity with us and with our colleagues in the faith-based community,” said AJWS president Ruth W. Messinger. “AJWS looks forward to working with the Obama administration to continue to carry out informed, sustainable solutions to international development concerns.”

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