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Remarks at PHN Superior Service to the Field Awards Ceremony

Randall L. Tobias, U.S. Director of Foreign Assistance and Administrator of USAID
Ronald Reagan Building
Washington, DC
February 7, 2007

I am delighted to be here to recognize Washington staff who have provided outstanding support to field Missions during 2006. Increasing Washington’s focus on the needs of the field is pivotal to achieving the Secretary’s transformational diplomacy goals. Supporting our colleagues in the field is particularly important now as we seek to change the way we do business.

With the advent of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the President’s Malaria Initiative, as well as emerging diseases like avian influenza, the demands on our field missions have increased manifold.

Health programs, including those that address HIV/AIDS and malaria, have demonstrated great success; and as a result, these programs enjoy strong support from the President, Congress, and the American People.

Health sector interventions have become technically more complex and failure to address issues like quality of care and drug supply logistics have serious consequences for our host country partners and for the United States – consequences like the emergence of multi-drug resistant TB.

Only a team effort, informed by state-of-the-art technical approaches, will succeed in combating these global health threats. Numerous countries in which we work have security issues which limit the number of personnel on the ground.

The success of the partnerships you have forged with the field is evidenced by the strong work of country teams and the number of award nominations that the field has submitted. It is exemplary that all of you charged with supporting our colleagues in the field pull together in a cross-bureau effort.

I congratulate the recipients of this year’s PHN Superior Service to the Field Awards. Now more than ever, you deserve special commendation for focusing on supporting your colleagues at the front lines of development.

Thank you very much.



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