Senate Letter in Support of VEGA to USAID

By , Communications and Advocacy Associate

Click here to view the full letter.

Members of the Senate sent a letter of support for VEGA to USAID Acting Administrator Wade Warren. In the letter, Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) encouraged Mr. Warren to preserve VEGA because it provides field missions with an adaptable, effective funding mechanism to spur economic growth in developing countries through the use of volunteers.

The three Senators, including Isakson, who is the chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Subcommittee on State Department and USAID Management, International and Leahy, who is the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs expressed concern that the authorization for VEGA will expire on June 10, 2017.

There is urgency because the high demand for VEGA from field missions can no longer be met within the time and ceiling available. Without an immediate extension of this volunteer LWA mechanism, field missions will be left without this flexible, efficient and effective funding mechanism.

The letter also quoted former USAID Administrator Raj Shah, who extended the VEGA LWA mechanism in 2014.

It is in the best interest of USAID because the volunteer consortium is unique to the Agency, supports many small US businesses, and provides a nimble response to global development needs. The incumbent organization was established specifically to meet USAID’s objectives for this initiative. The proposed extension is logically based on previous activities and performance.

Senators Boozman, Leahy and Isakson also highlighted the value of the LWA volunteer mechanism to U.S. taxpayers. Through the use of cost-share and leverage from volunteers, VEGA has saved U.S taxpayers more than $31 million.

To read the full letter, click here.