The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) on May 19 renewed their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for five years to enhance collaboration between the American and Indian business communities across sectors including health, climate change, economic growth, education and women empowerment.
Addressing the MoU signing event here, USAID Mission Director Veena Reddy said that the MoU leverages the combined capacities of the US government and the American and Indian private sectors to support shared development goals.
"The US is consistently India's biggest source of FDI, so the affirmation that we do today builds upon our work together with IACC and its members in development areas including women's economic empowerment, supporting new healthcare technologies and addressing malnutrition," said Ms. Reddy.
She said that under the renewed MoU, areas of mutual interest are being expanded to include maternal and child health, tuberculosis, HIV-AIDS, pandemic preparedness and global health security, primary healthcare and health systems strengthening, energy, environment, forests, water sanitation, gender, issues concerning youth, inclusive economic growth and financial inclusion, among others.
IACC National President Lalit Bhasin said, "IACC is delighted to partner with USAID for the next five years and beyond for scripting paradigm shifts in the synergy between business communities of both countries to take it to further heights and cover more areas, consolidate and build on the existing areas of cooperation. Together, we will work toward new dynamics, agenda, and pathways to add values at every step of our cooperation".
As a first step under the renewed MoU, USAID and IACC announced the establishment of a working group focused on engaging local organizations and institutions as partners to promote equitable change.
The working group will engage with the IACC members to ideate and develop tools to make programmes responsive to local priorities, draw upon local capacities, diverse networks, and resources, with the objective of maximizing impact by empowering and engaging local organizations that can tailor solutions to community needs.