Washington, D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith, House Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus for Effective Foreign Assistance, joined with leaders in the international development community to applaud the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development Act, known as the BUILD Act of 2018, becoming law:

“The BUILD Act will significantly improve our capacity to reduce poverty and inequality around the world. It’s vital that the U.S. be at the forefront of helping communities around the world to address their development and humanitarian challenges. Supporting economic growth in less developed countries promotes health, peace, and stability that is critical to our national security,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “This new development finance institution strengthens the ability of the United States to promote sustainable, broad-based development projects in countries around the world.  This institution will play a key role, along with robust direct assistance, in our commitment to providing help to those most in need around the world. I’m proud to have worked with my colleagues in the House and Senate, including Congressman Ted Yoho, Senator Chris Coons, and Senator Bob Corker, to show that we can work together to make progress on critical issues facing our country and the world.”

“The BUILD Act will help continue US leadership in the fight against poverty and opening up new economic markets, which has been good for US business, trade opportunities, while helping create a safer more prosperous world for us all,” said Aria Grabowski, Senior Policy Advisor on Aid and Development Finance at Oxfam America. “We thank Representatives Ted Yoho and Adam Smith, and Senators Bob Corker and Chris Coons for their leadership in bringing the BUILD Act about, and all of the Representatives and Senators who worked to create a Development Finance Institution that takes US development cooperation into the 21st century, while still protecting the vulnerable and ensuring that they are not left behind.”

“Throughout the process, we called for a strong development mandate, transparency, and social and environmental safeguards in this bill,” said George Ingram, Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network Co-Chair and Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution. “The BUILD Act expands U.S. development financing tools while carrying over important accountability and development standards.”

“Passing the BUILD Act is an important step in maximizing the effectiveness of U.S. development finance,” said Tessie San Martin, Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network Co-Chair and President & CEO of Plan International USA. “Moving forward, the new IDFC will need to work hand-in-hand with USAID and Congress to help partner countries successfully address poverty, sustainability and inequality.”

“The BUILD Act will help bring tens of billions of private-sector dollars into the fight against extreme poverty by helping American entrepreneurs and investors do business in Africa, create jobs and expand their reach in developing countries,” said Tom Hart, North America executive director at The ONE Campaign. “The ONE Campaign is grateful for the stewardship of Representative Smith who sponsored this bill. Congressman Smith’s smart, creative approach to helping people lift themselves out of extreme poverty and his determination to get this legislation passed this year is deeply appreciated.”