Clinton's Foreign-Aid Strategy

The article "Nations Make Progress In Helping Children," Nov. 24, is a welcome reminder of the nearly forgotten World Summit for Children in 1990. We have the opportunity in the Clinton administration to incorporate the summit's goals as central to the United States foreign assistance policy.

As the author states, a quarter of a million young children die every week from malnutrition, disease, and poverty. The 71 world leaders agreed to cut this number by one-third by the year 2000. James Grant's direction of the United Nation's Children Fund (UNICEF) led to this remarkable demonstration of political will; he is now approaching the end of his third term, the traditional limit at UNICEF. President-elect Clinton should either support Mr. Grant for an unprecedented fourth term, or strongly consi der him to head the US Agency for International Development. The 1 billion children and adults living in poverty around the world need Grant, or someone like him, who will put people first in foreign aid. Keith Johnson, Seattle

One of the key appointments for President-elect Clinton will be his selection of the director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Post- cold-war foreign policy is very new territory for all of the global players. The real threats to global stability - poverty, hunger, and illiteracy - are by-products of cold-war policies of covert militarism in the guise of development assistance. These policies bred civil war and facilitated strife all over the world.

The goals agreed to at the 1990 World Summit for Children are a mandate for a new vision in foreign assistance. Bill Foege, head of the Carter Center, Tony Hall, chairman of the House Select Committee on Hunger, and former Congressman Matthew McHugh, lead sponsor of the World Summit for Children Implementation Act, are powerful candidates for leaders of USAID.

Bill Clinton must be urged to make eliminating poverty a centerpiece of his foreign policy. Meeting the goals of the World Summit for Children should be the core of that strategy, and he should start by putting someone with a vision for achieving that strategy at the helm of USAID. Ken Buxton, Ridgewood, N.J. Don't overlook Russia

The front-page article "Russia Could Provide Early Test for Clinton's Foreign Policy," Nov. 13, points to a fact often ignored. The crisis in Russia should not be overlooked. The Clinton administration needs to develop a coherent and consistent policy toward the former Soviet Union. Furthermore, that policy should support President Boris Yeltsin's reforms.

It requires no leap in logic to see that the failure of reform will cost the United States economy greatly. America's economic woes cannot be resolved if it has to fight another cold war. Steven T. Wilson, Muscle Shoals, Ala.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.