In his New York Times column last week, Nicholas Kristof noted that the number of people living in extreme poverty around the world has decreased by half in two decades. If we continue at this pace, we could reach zero by 2030!

This message came at a critical time, as thousands of delegates from 140 countries convened in New York City—as they do at this time each year—for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and side events focused on global development. Beyond the thick pool of media, metal barricades and long lines, world leaders and development experts recommitted to solving some of the world’s most intractable challenges.

At UNGA and every day throughout the year, USAID is brings partners to the table to make sure that development is efficient, effective and empowering. Discover some moments from last week’s events in New York in this Impact Newsletter. 

IMF President & USAID Administrator Urge Collaboration

“If development is an investment in our shared future, then we have to split the check,” said USAID Administrator Gayle Smith during a conversation titled Shared Progress: Modernizing Development Finance.

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, and other USAID partners shared their insights on current and future development funding demands
and how to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

Trade is Key to Progress in Africa

At the U.S.-Africa Business Leaders’ Forum, leaders made it clear: trade, not just aid, is key to growing the continent’s economy.

PowerAfrica—an initiative of the U.S. government to bring electricity access to 20 million new people in Africa—made $1 billion in new commitments. From loan guarantees for new energy projects to grants for entrepreneurs, to date Power Africa has leveraged more than $40 billion in private partner investment in more than 500 partnership deals across sub-Saharan Africa.  

POTUS Asks the World to Uplift Refugees

During a Leaders’ Summit on Refugees, President Obama asked leaders to #aidrefugees with increased support.

Whether through iris scan technology to make grocery shopping easier for Syrian refugees or e-vouchers for displaced Colombians, USAID commits almost $400 million in emergency food assistance to refugees annually. Hear President Obama’s full speech here and find out how you can help on USAID’s Humanity Acts webpage. 

Teens join FLOTUS and Broadway Stars to Celebrate Let Girls Learn

First time on an airplane. Check. First time in the U.S. Check. First time on Broadway. Check. The world was watching as Halima from Malawi, Noor from Jordan, and Summyka and Deepa from Pakistan shared their education stories at the Bernard Jacobs Theater in New York. The girls were invited to speak at a Let Girls Learn event hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama. Follow the girls’ experience in New York City on Hello Giggles.

A Heartfelt Plea: We Must Deliver on Promises to People of South Sudan

Three years and $1.9 billion in U.S. humanitarian aid after conflict erupted in South Sudan, the plight continues as displacement increases to over one million people. USAID Administrator Gayle Smith announced $133 million in new assistance at UNGA. She was heartbroken that we must use these funds to keep people alive. “Words are not sufficient,” said Smith as she urged world leaders to deliver on promises. “If you mean it, make fewer commitments and deliver on them.”