Stories by Gayle E. Smith

Expert Voices

Planned cuts to U.S. development funds could hurt world's neediest

Bags of grain from USAID on a truck bed
Bags of sorghum from USAID being unloaded at a port in Sudan. Photo: Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is reportedly preparing to submit this week a rescission package that could cut billions in foreign development funding — a move that would have a long-term impact on both the federal budget process and vulnerable populations around the world.

Why it matters: OMB’s plan could target global programs that reduce food insecurity, improve public health, expand energy access and combat corruption. And it would upend decades of bipartisan consensus that development funds are a valuable tool to advance America’s values and foreign policy, national security and economic interests.

Expert Voices

Cyclone-lashed southern Africa needs more support for recovery

people wading through floodwaters in Mozambique
People wading through flood waters in Buzi, Mozambique, after Cyclone Idai. Photo: Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images

After making landfall earlier this month, Cyclone Idai caused devastating flooding and destruction throughout Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, leaving up to 1,000 people feared dead and hundreds of thousands displaced.

The big picture: The UN called Idai "one of the worst natural disasters to hit southern Africa in living memory." Shortages of food and clean water and the risk of contracting fatal diseases like cholera or malaria only make the situation worse.