“The 10-year “bull market” in foreign assistance is coming to an end; as such the United States must consider how it can continue to maintain its influence in the developing world in this budget-constrained environment,” Daniel Runde, Director of the Project on Prosperity and Development at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, wrote in a November 23 piece calling for OPIC’s permanent reauthorization.
In December, CSIS issued a more detailed report, Sharing Risk in a World of Dangers and Opportunities, which outlines in more detail the need for the United States to use its existing development finance instruments more efficiently. To that end, the report’s leading recommendation is a permanent reauthorization of OPIC.
The report recommends that the U.S. government use the current climate of fiscal austerity “as an opportunity to prioritize and reshape the U.S. foreign assistance strategy to reflect one that leverages the private sector and multiplies the effect of development dollars, instead of solely relying on government funding.”
“OPIC is the only U.S. foreign policy, national security, or economic development agency that earns a net profit for U.S. taxpayers,” the report states.
On December 8, OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield spoke at CSIS on a panel about the Sharing Risk report, where she outlined some projects where OPIC, which has no international offices, had successfully coordinated with other U.S. development agencies, and such as the United States Agency for International Development, to work more effectively on the ground.