USAID chief Samantha Power holds talks with Govt functionaries

NEW DELHI, July 27: Sri Lanka’s economic crisis and pressing global challenges such as food security and climate change figured prominently in visiting USAID administrator Samantha Power’s talks with her Indian interlocutors.
The USAID said Power met with civil society representatives in Delhi on Tuesday to discuss freedom of expression, speech, identity, and the importance of protecting the rights of minority groups.
“The Administrator underscored the United States’ continued commitment to work with civil society organisations around the globe to advance human rights and fundamental freedoms,” acting spokesperson of USAID Shejal Pulivarti said.
Power is on a visit to India from July 25 to 27. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is one of the leading aid agencies globally.
Also on Tuesday, Power met with External Affairs S Jaishankar, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister P K Mishra and Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra.
Pulivarti said the aim of the meetings was to reinforce the US and India’s long history as strategic partners and collaborators across development issues, including food security, climate change, and adaptation through mechanisms such as the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure and digital development.
“They also discussed the region and the importance of India’s leadership, and US support, to Sri Lanka through this economic crisis,” the USAID official said.
“The administrator underscored our joint commitment to providing humanitarian assistance and partnering to address remaining development challenges in India, Asia, and around the world,” Pulivarti said.
Power also met with Parameswaran Iyer, CEO of NITI Aayog, and discussed bilateral collaboration across sectors to drive and sustain development outcomes around the world.
The USAID acting spokesperson said she also joined Indian agricultural experts and private sector leaders to learn how the US and India can apply climate-smart and sustainable solutions to address the global food security crisis, which is further “exacerbated” by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Potential areas of engagement would focus on optimisation, through training and providing reliable information to small holder farmers, addressing food wastage through the construction of adequate cold storage facilities, and maximising yields through the efficient use of fertiliser and irrigation techniques,” Pulivarti said.
“Administrator Power also visited an urban community that benefited from an innovative water ATM, which provides safe, reliable and affordable water for hundreds of families in the area,” the official said. (PTI)