US Rep. Ed Royce and US Agency for International Development's Rajiv Shah participated in a town hall meeting on Sunday, January 11 at the Bronco Student Center at Cal Poly Pomona to foster cooperation to overcome global poverty. The meeting was attended by students and faculty members, and community leaders from the Diaspora.
Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, represents the 39thCongressional District, which encompasses parts of Orange, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino counties. He has also served as chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-Proliferation and Trade, and as member of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.
Shah leads the efforts of nearly 10,000 staff in more than 70 countries around the world to advance USAID’s mission of ending extreme poverty and promoting resilient, democratic societies. Under Shah’s leadership, USAID has applied innovative technologies and engaged the private sector to solve the world’s most intractable development challenges.
New Cal Poly Pomona President Soraya M. Coley hosted the town hall meeting titled “The Fight to End Global Poverty by 2030.” After introductory remarks, Royce and Shah shared their insights from working on a range of pressing global development challenges, from fighting hunger to ensuring child survival to leading America’s response to natural disasters around the world, including the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
The event included a question-and-answer session. Mr Samin Faruqui asked a riveting question about USAID and Pakistan.
The diversity of the audience represented the Diaspora: Africans, Chinese, Indians, Syrians , and Pakistani Americans, to name a few.
Mahomed Khan, Director of Society To Offer Prosperity & Peace (STOPP) was instrumental in motivating the community to attend the town hall meeting.
Speaking on the occasion, Khan said, ”The future of America's role for economic development and poverty alleviation is for USAID to partner with philanthropists and Diaspora NGOs. There will be more accountability and more concrete results.”
Rim Manaa, Founding Secretary of American Rescue Fund that provides orphan and humanitarian emergency relief to Syrian victims of war, and who was also Southern California regional coordinator for President Obama, mentioned to Ambassador Shaw that they had to raise money to purchase blankets. Many children without blankets who were exposed to freezing temperatures had died.
It was manifestly evident from the meeting's proceedings that Chairman Royce was very passionate about fighting poverty and illiteracy.
Later, director Shaw met with various Diaspora communities to get a direct feedback. He was very concerned about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria. Everyone who met Ambassador Shaw touched everyone by his genuine concern and pragmatic response to all the issues that were raised at the Town Hall meeting.