tv House Intelligence Holds Hearing on COVID-19 in Sub- Saharan Africa CSPAN June 16, 2020 12:32pm-2:16pm EDT
poli's -- police reform legislation. the house is not in session but members continue work off the floor on its own version of police reform legislation. the house returns june 25 for debate and vote. watch it live on c-span. >> this november, we are going to take back the house, we are senate, and wehe senate, are going to keep white house. -- keep the white house. coverageour live starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, on demand at c-span.org, or listen on the go with the free c-span radio app. into how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting sub-saharan africa. members from the house
intelligence committee heard from former ambassadors and diplomatic officials. house committee on intelligence, first remote hearing. before we proceed to where were topic today, the impact of the covid-19 pandemic in sub-saharan africa, i want to address some housekeeping matters. today's session will be conducted on an unclassified basis. urged tonts are inrain from presenting -- compliance with house resolution 965 and resolutions for remote proceedings. like many of you, i would have preferred to hold this in person in washington, d.c., but because of the threat of covid-19 we remain serious and widespread and are proceeding remotely to
ensure the safety of our witnesses, members, staff, and the public. i was hoping that today's hearing would be bipartisan. unfortunately, our republican colleagues have decided not to dissipate. i hope they will -- not to participate. i hope they will join us in the future and i'm committed to continuing our work notwithstanding the pandemic, and both sides of the aisle will be scheduled in the coming weeks and months. a few procedures to navigate the new platform. the committee will keep microphones muted to eliminate background noise. members are responsible for on muting themselves. because there is sometimes delays, i would askp[ members ad witnesses out allow sufficient time for speaking -- witnesses allow sufficient time for speaking. witnesses and officials must
have their cameras on at all times. if you need to step away, please leave your camera on. if you encounter technical difficulties, please contact technical support. our technical staff will get you back up and running as soon as possible. consistent with past practice, i will recognize members for their five minute in order of seniority, starting with those who were present at the commencement of this hearing. thank you all for your patience as we navigate this technology. i will turn to the topic of today's hearing. as part of its oversight work, the committee is conducting a review on the response to the covid-19 pandemic, exploring how the ic will arrive and informationhealth on covid-19 and specific and
disease in general. as i have said, the intelligence community is one element of the pandemic to prepare the infrastructure. there are things that can be done to enable the ic to warn policymakers and others of the out rake of disease does outbreak of disease. -- outbreak of disease. it is forecast to become worse due to climate change and increased human encroachment on wilderness areas. the american people have been rightly focused on the effects of covid-19 at home. 150,000 of our citizens have lost their lives, tens of millions of americans are out of work, and kids have been stuck at home for months. in many states, cases are rising and hospitalizations are up.
covid-19 is a worldwide pandemic and has spread from asia to europe to america to latin america, asia, and africa. some countries are on the downward slope of the epidemiological curve, infections across sub-saharan africa are growing, threatening fragile health systems ill-equipped. across the region they are anding in terms of water many suffer from food rity. washing, and staying home may not be practicable. topped -- have continent wide the case count stands at 230,000.
the pandemic is accelerating. it took 98 days to reach the african continent as a whole and reached 100,000 cases, 19 days reached 200,000 cases. from aids,suffered ebola, and no doubt will suffer from covid. secondary effects from african economies, health, and infrastructure that concern many experts on africa, and especially concerned about the impact of covid-19 on vaccinations and health air dutch healthring care measures ensuring african children grow up into adults and the effect of the pandemic on women and girls. of covid-19 on girls' education in africa. many companies have made enormous strides.
the continent has a growing middle-class. while there have been improvements, governments remain dislocated and dislocations caused by covid-19 could lead to unrest.ing and social as young africans sense their government is failing them, they are more likely to turn to violence with organized groups like al-shabaab or isis. in the united states, getting through the pandemic -- helping sub-saharan africa get through the pandemic -- partners have helped to reduce the disease burden and to improve economies. we stand to benefit from a more stable and prosperous africa that can fight terrorism and fight future pandemics.
most importantly, as the u.s., great, and asia are nearly half of sub-saharan africa's population is young. that trend is expected to continue. china understands the potential of africa and beijing is making efforts and security ties across sub-saharan africa through the belt and rode initiative. .- road initiative providing television -- telephone structure for millions of african, china has become the number one choice. china has been using the covid-19 outbreak to further its power in africa, including a recent pledge of $2 billion to the world health organization to fight covid, in sharp contrast to president trump's
announcement of withdrawal from the who. our panel of experts will better help us understand these and other effects of covid-19 on africa. each of you will make remarks of five to seven minutes. linda thomas greenfield is a senior vice president at asg and leads the africa practice. she joined after a long and distinguished freund service career. ambassador thomas greenfield served as u.s. a sick current dutch assistant secretary of with aor african affairs focus on economic empowerment, investment opportunities, security, democracy, and governments. prior, she served as director general of the foreman -- and leading the
state department 70,000 personnel. from 2008 toberia nationslped with united issues in switzerland, gambia, and jamaica. deputy assistant secretary of state to the bureau of applicant affairs -- african affairs, and the bureau of population of migrants. she has over 20 years of experience in international affairs and government and nonprofit roles and was formally the managing member of the africa center, dedicated -- dedicated to increasing the understanding of modern africa. she served as a member of the southern african development community. prior to that, she was a special forstant to president obama
africa at the national security council where she led major security reviews of sudan and somalia. before joining the obama administration, she was a fellow and adjunct fellow at cfr. she was a staff director for the senate foreign relations committee on african affairs, and legislative director for senator ken salazar. j stephen morrison is the vice and thet for csis global health policy center. dr. morrison has directed several high level commissions, is a frequent commentator on global health in africa and foreign assistance. he served in the clinton administration and taught for 12 years at the johns hopkins school of advanced international
studies. vermont -- at d sis, heor to joining served as the national intelligence officer for africa from 2015 to 2018, leading the analytic efforts on sub-saharan african issues and served as the personal representative at inter-agency policy meetings. the cia senior analyst on sub-saharan africa. director as the nsc senegal, and- and contributed toward the u.s. strategy toward sub-saharan africa signed by president obama in 2012 that led to the recognition of the somalian government for the first time since 1991. he spent two years abroad
working in nigeria from 2008 to 2010. with that, we will get started and let me talk -- turned to ambassador linda thomas greenfield for her remarks. ambassador thomas greenfield: i think i am unmuted. thank you, chairman, and members of the community. i want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify testify before you today on the issue of covid-19, an important issue for many watching this disease as it spread globally. you will hear from my colleagues about the health impact of the virus and the political impact and security impact. i would like to share the social impact.
it is a double edged for africa. in addition to the obvious health challenges, like elsewhere, it has had tremendous economic effects. according to the world bank, covid-19 is likely to drive sub-saharan africa into it first recession in 25 years with growth falling as much as -5% in 2020. covid-19 was already affecting african academies -- economies before it reached the shores. importers saw their revenues drop due to reduced demand from china, and there was notable capital flight from key african markets in late january and february as investors adopted a wait and see approach, and pulled their caffrey -- capital to safety, starving africans. one month of lockdown cost african $65 billion, 2.5 percent
of its annual gdp, signaling the urgency of countries to contain the disease. it threatens the jobs of 150 million africans, one third of the population. he recognized this is a youthful population -- you recognized this is a youthful population and there is a high level of unemployment. is reallyich important, was severely impacted , kenya, south africa, and elsewhere. maybe except for ethiopian airlines, on the verge of collapse. revenues due to the market crisis dwindled, bringing theced demand and in march, price of brent crude oil dropped below the cost of production in nigeria, forcing the government to reassess revenue projections
down 50% and begin a budget revision process. we have seen some of the results of that most recently. there have been reduced remittances and inflows into africa and these are key contributors of the continent. the world bank estimates remittances are expected to fall billion from a high of $48 billion. once covid-19 made landfall, governments acted swiftly to nt, however these actions that highlighted the -- supply anda value chains, 85.8% of africans work in the informal sector and hustle for their daily bread on a daily basis. the informal economic structure does not gel with the necessary responses to flatten the curve.
actions such as social distancing and stocking up food supplies are not possible. ony africans pushed back government policies, arguing that the hunger virus would kill them before the coronavirus. food security is becoming a major concern as reduced agricultural output and imports threatened to limit supply and increase the price of stable crops. itsria depleted 70% of grain reserve over the last three bonds to ensure food supply. on planned health care -- unplanned health care spending will worsen the already precarious fiscal position in many african countries. many countries will now have two runs never can budget deficits in 2020 deal with the crisis, and given current levels of debt across the continent, many experts believe widespread debt relief or forgiveness is critical to enable african
governments to boost health care spending and effectively manage covid-19. announcements from the multilateral's such as the g20 and paris club, 40 african countries would be eligible to receive $20 billion in debt service suspension are welcome, but current levels of direct aid to african countries are not sufficient to stave off a continent wide enomic distress. china needs to step up to the plate. biggest creditor is considering delaying repayments to 152 billion dollars of african loans, and while we see this as a positive far short andlls calls to forgive african debt have increased. china has not done enough. if i could spend a few of my
last in its to talk about what we should be doing in the united states, i would like to make three recommendations among many people that will hear from us today. first and foremost, the u.s. needs to ease internal bureaucratic bottlenecks. while we have committed more than $1 billion to benefit the global covid response, much of that aid has been tied up in uncharacteristic delays nearly three months after the passage of the cares act. some key u.s. interventions are not reaching african stakeholders and communities. relief africa needs debt to enable the continent to focus on its economic recovery. we should support international partnering efforts to enact an across-the-board deal for countries, a financial assistance for multilateral -- these will also be needed.
the u.s. can use this leverage in the international and financial ins duchenne's to encourage support for africa's recovery -- financial institutions to encourage support for africa's recovery. use the opportunity to pressure china to step up their efforts. finally, leadership. u.s. leadership has been missing on the front lines of the global effort -- [no audio] ceding leadership to no other country but china. president trump's decision to pull out of the world health organization has rubbed africans the wrong way. tore is room for the u.s. reassert its global leadership
in a multisectoral response to deliver a support package to support africa. the continentate will need $200 billion to stave off the effects of covid. this is where congress could lead the way by providing increased support to the international affairs budget and also our important humanitarian efforts. we mustnd by saying support the efforts of our diplomats and development officials overseas. they cannot be expected to do their jobs with their hands tied behind their backs and without leadership from washington. they are on the front lines of our defense and should be given the tools to defend and support the country in africa as well as other places. i have served as a diplomat for 35 years. it is something i'm very proud of, and i know that our diplomats overseas are working to support their efforts, and are proud to be in service to
the u.s. government. thank you for your attention. rep. schiff: thank you, ambassador. appreciate your many years of service and your appearance today. let's go to ambassador michelle gavin. gavin: thank you for inviting me to testify and tackling this important topic. i want to thank your staff. staffer sogressional i appreciate all the work you do. and diverse, and the situation in botswana is different from cameroon, so i will speak broadly, but it is important to acknowledge that individual countries' situations depends on crisis how it impacts them.
ambassador thomas-greenfield talked about the economic consequences. i will focus on the political fallout because this pandemic is a challenge to governments and democracy. the main take away is as important as the sector is, the that can beent trusted, public health depends on participation. when citizens mistrust or are asked to take greater steps for the greater good, the most thoughtful intervention can fail. the alarm sounded across 36 countries in africa. levels of trust in government varies widely from country to country and were tied to whether people believed institutions to
be corrupt or self-serving. to take one example, some religious leaders in the volatile metal belt of nigeria claim the virus is a hoax to suppress the practice. this was met with pushback from other muslim authorities, but the theory has contraction because it fit existing narratives of muslim disenfranchisement, narratives of the powerful using threats like boko haram to enrich themselves rather than providing security for citizens. add that to long-term skepticism of public health intervention and one sees the disruption brought by covid is being fit into existing ideas about the state abusing its citizens. beenpia, which has undergoing a major political transformation, the pandemic has forced the postponement of
elections scheduled for august -- if you are expecting a power grab and expecting to be disenfranchised, this looks like the intent and the consequence, more instability. looking at elections alone, it is more than ethiopia. delays can impede or -- it has forced opponents to choose between engaging in a risky exercise or declining to participate. every scenario, democratic legitimacy suffers. there is some truth to the idea that covid-19 is a gift for
authoritarians because the draconian control that may be required can be used as cover to justify -- manipulation of vital humanitarian assistance, and the emergency overriding that prohibits data -- one can find in zimbabwe where opposition protests have led to arrests for violating lockdown orders where the ruling party maneuvers to distribute food aid under its banner, where the government was to cancelompelled inflated contracts with the medical supplier linked to the fund. while the crisis can provide -- a global health and
economic crisis cannot be intimidated by a strongman and where security forces have killed civilians and forced see resentment. i want to flag particularly for this committee that these issues of trust and how they play out our tremendously illuminating. the reaction for covid-19 can tell us a great deal at a granular level for who is trusted, who is not, where voices of authority are sounding in society, whether it is popular musicians putting public health messages to music, radio stations busting myths about the virus, or computing -- community leaders guiding change, that helps us understand places a lot better. the reaction also points to
>> social media is a major source of information about covid-19 on the continent. these societies, like in hours, social media can fuel the threat of inaccurate information , grievances and create flashpoints in a charged environment. long-standing concerns about africans being used as u experimental subjects for medical science or the target of shadowy agendas aimed at covertly suppressing population growth can be activated and harnessed to other agenda at a time of crisis. it's worth paying close attention. when i look at what this means for the future of u.s.-africa relations i, we with four broad interrelated conclusions that have implications for u.s. policy. first, there can be no doubt that the united states' credibility and the appeal of our governance model and the perception of our capacity for global leadership have been tarnished.
our own shambolic response to sense ofhas created a a state in decline. all of our flaws or on global display and this has only been compounded by the horrific instances of police brutality america and the realities of racism they exposed. to do toa lot of work reassert some leadership in pursuit of a more just and stable world. you will hear great recommendations about what we should be doing to assist with debt, urgent health needs, to play to our strengths on security but it's also important we speak frankly about what has gone right and what has gone wrong in our own country and model what transparency and accountability can bring to the table. second, the united states should work to support the forces protecting democracy and the rule of law and that means working with civil society to powers,m with emergency
track covert assistant spending and make sure accurate and reliable information is available. we should focus on conflict prevention and track indicators of increasing unrest where the pandemic has built suspicion and tension and work with other partners to push for inclusive political dialogue that can write a framework to move societies toward revised electoral calendars. third, her obsession with planning the blame on the pandemic on china is self-defeating. china is going for broke and it's starting it's leadership in our dire warnings look self-serving and abandoning onlyizations like the who exacerbates this. assertive leadership coming from africa that is unified, specific , savvy and direct about african interest will probably outlast the pandemic and this is to be welcomed. waysd states only defines to meet this kind of assertive leadership.
they need to identify lessons learned from the crisis and institutionalize that learning this will create more space for african equities in the institutional architecture but also means more meaningful and fruitful partnerships with africa. thank you so much for the opportunity. >> thank you, ambassador, mr. morrison. you may need to unmute. mr. morrison? are you muted? you are still muted. actually, you don't appear to be muted, i don't know why.
let me see if i can help on my end. we go to someone else in the interim and figure out the acoustics while we do. >> can you hear me? >> yes, is that you? >> yes,. >> yes, go ahead. >> to stingless members of the house permanent select committee on intelligence, think of for the invitation to speak on the importance of covid-19 in sub-saharan africa. the pandemic is a health, economic, political and security crisis unfolding in a. of heightened geopolitical competition. it presents significant risk to the u.s. and to african countries. i want to focus my opening remarks on security and political dimensions but i would like to briefly echo some of my colleagues insights on the economic and political ramifications.
[inaudible] while i have been impressed with the rapid expansion of social welfare programs, the most significant unfurling of worker protection since the [inaudible] is insufficient to quell unrest from the disease. crime is down but reports of domestic abuse are up and there have been protests and riots related to covid-19. at least 500 six to the armedding to conflict locations and event database known as acquin. is straining the regions resources. there is a range of responses across 49 countries. the regions government space has three distinct tests on
governance, leadership and democratic practices. how these governments will meet the challenges will shape the short-term stability and their long-term trajectory. how do you deliver basic services and enforce lockdowns during a pandemic? the regions democracies have managed well but they are still under fire. the south african president who i believe has done an exemplary job, has still had to apologize for missteps to investigate allegations of police abuse. second, how do you showcase effective leadership when your political class is uniquely vulnerable to this disease. 21 out of 49 african heads of state are over sickly five years old. over 65 years old. at least 19 cabinet ministers, several south sudan and legislators and governors have tested positive. burundionda the
president almost certainly died from covid-19. that has plunged the country into a constitutional crisis. finally, how do you balance the trade-offs between democracy and public health? there is a number of elections still on the books for the rest of this year including in malawi next week. the outbreak present some opportunity for leaders to strengthen their grip on power, exploiting health restrictions and suppressed voter turnout or delay voting. in march, one president per city with a controversial referendum to secure a third term in office despite boycotts in the absence of observers. to the security landscape, extremist groups are outmaneuvering distracted and overstressed domestic and foreign security services. if these trends continue, sub-saharan africa is at risk of losing ground after years of advances alongside regional and international security partners.
europe,heir brethren in terrorist branches are not pausing operations, or practicing social distancing. there has been an uptick in attacks. there has been a 28.5% increase in violent extremist events in the region between mid-march and early may. in march, insurgents kidnapped malawanne the opposition leader and they conducted simultaneous attacks in several capitals. this past week, west africa has been on a rampage, attacking key towns across northeast nigeria killing over 100 people. at least 10 soldiers were killed at a military post near border. african ciardi forces and international partners are not retreating as evidenced by the recent death of one leader, it's true that domestic forces are
busy dealing with lockdowns. some international partners are already repatriating their peacekeepers as we have seen ireland do. where they are just dealing with covid-19 outbreaks within their own security forces. many soldiers have tested positive. is unfolding during heightened geopolitical rivalry in sub-saharan africa. the u.s., china and other external actors are responding for altruistic and global health reasons but as the committee knows, they are also doing so to advance their strategic interest in the region. the u.s. is mainly focused on financial contribution whereas is mainly focused on supplies. eitherncertain whether countries approaches having a geopolitical effect. african leaders have expressed deep satisfaction with the u.s. and china.
nigerian officials have dressed down chinese diplomats for racist treatment of africans while they have welcomed jack ma's donations and are asking hard questions about chinese corruption, investment and presence in african countries. u.s. leaders have slammed president donald trump for his statements about who director general and former ethiopian. across the continent, there has been an upper over the murder of george floyd by police officers minnesota. unprecedented,m african admonishments of foreign partnerships have rarely been as forceful, sustained or public. african officials are probably becoming more confrontational because they fear of pushback. they fear of failure to pushback and deflect attention from the current crisis well heightening domestic public anger in the wake of the disease and economic devastation. i believe this new assertiveness is unlikely to fade. thatresident declared
there is a selfishness on the part of industrial nations for decades. there is limited skills to trickle a major overhaul of bilateral relations because of d structural economic and security ties but i believe the region will prioritize partnerships with countries they judged to be responsive, respectful and competitive. let me end with five key recommendations for the u.s. to help their african partners and restore our leadership in sub-saharan africa. charge,e need to be in we need to lead the global responsible to pal ferrier -- our failure truly does undercut responsibility and fueled a war between u.s. and china. it's not too late to step up. this kind of multilateral approach led by the u.s. is the hallmark of our response to ebola in west africa. we need to collaborate on relief.u.s.
should commit itself to working with public and private lenders to address the economic woes of the region. as one investor said, the u.s. needs to press china to do more, to grant money in coronation with other donors. there are other options on the table, low interest rates, special drawing rights to the imf, something akin to a bond with the eurobond where they are swapped for congressional debt. the u.s. cannot be capped as the main obstacle to a solution. three, we could do more to talk about private sector and our foundational contribution to address covid-19. that's actually what china is doing. globally isits aid the chinese government and the rest is through foundations and private companies. i have been delighted to see the u.s. has started to do this through its all of america campaign. learn fromed to african successes, the united states should be doing more to hail african positive responses to the pandemic.
there is an opportunity to champion african leaders and government, ministries of multilateral groups to do the right thing and doing it well. this is an open approach which promotes dialogue and mitchell respect and will take the sting out of past insults and derogatory u.s. rhetoric. finally, this is an opportunity to refresh our policy. the pandemic is a once in a generation opportunity to reimagine u.s. policies programs and public diplomacy. we should rebalance our investment toward african cities in the u.s. military engagement on the front lines of fighting covid is a reminder are secured he partnerships are more than just about counterterrorism. there are public service announcements and town halls are a tantalizing preview of what a modern and inclusive public diplomacy program could look like. i can so much. -- thank you so much. >> thank you very much. mr. morrison, why don't we try
again? steve? you for cannot hear some reason. your microphone doesn't show it's muted on our end. you get a blue mic in front of you. we still cannot hear you. well, should tryr if we having you sign in again or worse comes to worst, we can have you call rather than use the video link and we could probably hear you by dialing in.
why don't we do that. i will let my staff interact with you directly. meantime, we will begin with some questions. my apologies, mr. morrison, but we will get this worked out. by right, let me start asking any witnesses that can be heard -- the current pandemic began in china. it's certainly possible that the next pandemic may begin somewhere else. if a pandemic were to begin or a virus were to begin spreading in africa, what level confidence do you have in our ability to identify that taking place, what kind of transparency do you , given thered find is not much transparency out of china in the critical early days and weeks? how would you assess the threat
of a pandemic coming from the african continent? >> can i start? >> sure. >> i am very confident that should such a pandemic start in africa, we would have tremendous cooperation. i look back on the situation wherebola in west africa we were on the verge of a pandemic with three countries being affected and concerns it could impact the entire globe. because of strong efforts by those governments as well as cooperation by the international community and leadership by the united states, we were able to bring that under control in a very short. of time just in a short time. more people lost their lives than should have in this crisis. fewer lost their lives then been aave had there not
partnership with the international community. couple of things came out of that that i think are important. one is that the africa cdc that was already in development actually became much stronger and we have seen the african cdc be extraordinarily responsive in this current effort. african countries have been responsive. i happen to be in liberia in early march and when i arrived in liberia on march 3, my temperature was taken at the stationshandwashing were in front of every single public building that i visited on that was long before the crisis was declared a pandemic. i think we can be confident in africa despite their limited infrastructure, their budgetary challenges, their capacity challenges, that they would be
extraordinarily supportive and cooperative in an effort to stem a pandemic that might start on the continent. this pandemic is expected to make the response to other health imperatives much more difficult. what do you think the pandemic will do to the malaria response or the hiv response? is africa likely to lose more because theyalaria health care response to malaria is impacted by covid? anyone? >> i will start. see some backsliding in terms of health care across the
continent because of the requirements for covid. but we also saw that in the united states as well. people were not going to hospitals when they had malaria or they were treating themselves for malaria when they had a fever and when they might have gone to the hospital for covid. to getople were unable their antiviral drugs for hiv because of covid. i believe there was a negative impact. continentt across the and at the get something we have to be watchful of in the future. ok, thank you. we are still working on mr. morrison. i think we may have a work around.
his video ono keep but is calling on his cell phone so we may get audio through his cell phone. in the interim, mr. heinz. chairman and mr. thank you to all of our witnesses this morning. -- this afternoon. i'mve one question and not sure who to direct this to come it relates to something you have touched on which is likely scenarios with respect to sovereign debt and the various african countries. look at thee if you literature a year ago, people were worrying about a sovereign debt cross -- crisis a year ago pre-covid and now, obviously, hard currency availability and other things have gone dramatically south. is, a lot of the debt is owed to the private sector so is not necessarily multilateral or owed to other countries.
what should we look out for in terms of the intersection of debt that is not likely to be serviceable and therefore, a country needs a restructuring with all of the potential turmoil that might entail. what's the intersection of that intensity with the likelihood of political instability and likelihood that political instability could generate more extremist violence? what is a hotspot we should keep an eye on? dot are things we could knowing that a lot of that debt is owed to the part debt to the private sector and china and try to alleviate that challenge? i will try to answer that question. the debt problem right now is severe and serious and deserves attention and engagement from the u.s. in part because if
african countries can pause the servicing of their debt or have some relief, they can direct that money toward the things that would be stress relievers to the outcomes you're talking about, getting better for ex, getting food a lower price or subsidizing it and addressing some of the social programming they need to do right now that the rest of the world does. one of the challenges right now in commercial debt is that the africans are pressing for debt but they don't want to affect their credit. i think there is a real conundrum here. even if we got the commercial sector, the private sector to release some of their debt, africans are concerned that their sovereign rating would go down. it will take a number of creative collaborations between the u.s. and the private sector to try to find a way around this so that their debt is relieved or at least suspended but not
affecting their credit rating which we come as a government, have been encouraging for a long time to exley build on. i'm less worried about how the debt will affect insecurity as much as i am the downstream effect on it, what kind of cost-cutting they have to do another issues like food pricing. food prices is often a corollary to unrest whether we are talking about the 1979 rights right in liberia or the more recent case of spiking red prices in sudan that has led to public unrest. thank you. >> thank you for that. do any of the witnesses want to answer the other part of that question witches are there particular hotspots in particular countries where you can see in intersection with political instability? stab and itake a
would keep a really close eye on sudan. whichere already squeezed limited them in a fiscal space for a new transitional government to deliver any kind of relief to the population that rose up to oust the odious regime that was there before. and the kind of overall economic environment only makes that worse. it's an incredibly fragile if civiliansd cannot demonstrate they can improve quality of life for people, it gives the military that not so happy arranged marriage of a transitional government the upper hand. that's something i would be very concerned about. --if i could add i would add ethiopia which was on the precipice of reform with
a very reform minded government. we saw some of the reforms taking place. they were on the verge of an election and that election was -- michelle worry mentioned that in her remarks -- with the delay of the election, the uncertainty of what is coming next politically in the country that ethiopia is a country also that we should keep a very close and watchful eye on. >> thank you very much. i'm out of time. >> i think we have a workaround with mr. morrison who will be speaking over his phone but you will be able to view him. you may need to use the grid view to see him as the webex may not pick up his audio. mr. morrison? >> thank you, can >> >> you hear me? yes, we can. >> thank you so much. thank you for the chance to be here today. chairman, thank you also for your prior help and leadership
on combating misinformation campaigns against vaccines and the support you have given us to the csi commission on strengthening america's health security. these issues around misinformation, weaponizing social media are front and center in this particular crisis of that home, africa and elsewhere. it's a problem we will have to face. i will skip ahead in the interest of time and i will skip ahead and cover some of the key recommendations that we have developed here. not here to i'm lobby for specific provisions, i wish to urge that the next emergency pandemic measure moved by congress, addresses international concerns of issue today. there is a white paper that was assembled by the u.s. global leadership coalition interaction in the one campaign which called for at least 12 billion dollars commitment to meet emergency
humanitarian needs and the health response needs to the virus and associated operational costs in africa and other low income countries. these are very urgent needs and they have only grown since the original commitment. in addition, there is a stark need to begin early to bring forward u.s. commitments to cover a significant share of the cost of production and distribution of a vaccine in africa and other low income countries. once that becomes available. advocates have called upon the u.s. to make an early forward commitment upwards of $15 billion. in aggregate cost for global distribution is somewhere between 25 and $65 billion and we need to make action early on that. i also want to press that the u.s. should take up trying to forge an international agreement that 5% of the first doses of the vaccine the reserve health-care workers, front-line workers, migrant populations and
are acutely fragile across all countries in the world. experts estimate that would require 250-350 million doses. the second recommendation is the u.s. not lucite the ongoing need to sustain u.s. commitments both bilateral and multilateral and hiv aids, tuberculosis, malaria, polio, reproductive health, family planning and immunization. bipartisan congressional support for these programs is essential over the past two decades and it remains a central. the pandemic is already disrupted many of these programs globally. over 80 million children have gone un immunized and we are seeing a resurgence of measles, yellow fever and vaccine derived polio. the administration is to expedite the delivery of the $1.6 billion in emergency assistance. action there needs to be to lift the export restrictions
on protective equipment, test kits and ventilators. we need to see greater action in the g7 and g20 for an expansion of debt relief and forgiveness on the u.s., which has been absent from some of the most promising initiatives including the accelerator which brings together the eu industry, the who and the world bank and major foundations about bringing access for vaccines, therapies and diagnostics, that most promising effort is what we should be joining. fourth, it makes no sense to defund the and terminate u.s. membership. that recklessness will damage who and damage u.s. health scientific ownerships and u.s. standing in the world and hands.ely play into the of the chinese i appealed to congress to use its powers to preserve the u.s. relationship with the who and urge the administration to put its full support behind the independent review of the international response including who that was just recently approved by the
overwhelming vote at the world health assembly. my fifth recommendation has to do with intelligence. and no no powers intelligence capacity that greatly limits its ability to know when a country is cheating, is concealing an outbreak. and to hold that country to account. much more serious consideration needs to be given by the united states and like-minded countries including perhaps even the chinese. systematicrms of sharing of intelligence can support the who. african states greatly resent their vulnerability to bad choices made last year and earlier this year by china. i expect many african states will welcome strengthening the who grasp of what is happening around the world in new outbreaks, new threats. in the midst of this emergency, we need to take a long view. now is the choice moment to
restore the directorate for global health security and bio defense at the national security council and create a strong, authoritative mechanism -- that establishes health diplomacy, leadership at the state department and the unity of purpose around health security, bring great benefit to africa. thank you very much. you, mr. morrison. let me see if i can hear you without the phone really quick to see if that's working. >> can you hear me? >> i can but i can't tell whether that's the phone or not. youny event, we could hear loud and clear in your testimony so thank you very much. let me go to terrysoule for her question. >> thank you, mr. chairman i want to thank our panelists. the pandemic has posed a threat to various security assistance efforts such as the u.n. peacekeeping as well as fighting
counterterrorism. i wanted to understand how violent extremist groups have been using this pandemic as an opportunity to seek advantage and what your thoughts were about what we can do about it and whether they have been able to maintain or can maintain advantages during the pandemic going forward. up to any panelist who would like to answer. the intersection between the pandemic and ongoing security efforts in the region, especially inviting counterterrorism. there is an intersection between covid-19 in a couple of ways. wayre seeing a surge in the many of the extremist groups [inaudible]
and the group in northern mozambique and the way they are operating. it's part of their chewed directory -- prodded their trajectory but they are double duty, addressing the lockdown duties and doing counterterrorism fighting. their partners are doing as much they can but the u.n. has stalled rotations for his peacekeeping mission. there has been some xenophobic attacks on peacekeepers but not in areas of terrorism but in south sudan and the central african republic. groups are using this as a propaganda opportunity. they are talking about how the measures of the nigerian government are against muslims and how, if you join boko haram, you will be free from coronavirus. ofare doing work in terms
building goodwill among the population. ab hashis week, al shab opened up a clinic which they used in the 2014 famine to gain goodwill. i think there is a number of measures we could be doing alongside our african partners to address this. have seen in somalia and kidney, we can employ religious leaders to counter these kenya,ves -- somalia and we can employ religious leaders to capture these narratives. there could be purposeful opportunities to use trait -- contact tracing, border closures and other measures -- in other measures for health to deal counterterrorism. it is a challenge right now but i think there is an opportunity to stem the growth during this time when governments are doing a number of other things. is, howther question have other nations, former
colonial powers like russia and china and india using the pandemic to enhance their influence in the region and how effective has that been? ambassador thomas? them seek that many of the opportunity to move into africa. they don't have a colonial history none of them but i would put them in the neocolonial category of relationships with africa. opportunity to push their agendas, an opportunity to criticize us. they see what is happening in the united states and how we are responding and they are using that narrative to encourage closer relationships with africans. we are seeing the russians move in even before corona to central
africa, providing security there, the turks are making a and i efforts in somalia think increasing those efforts and i think all of these things bear watching but more than watching, they require a othersve response from in the international community. that response is not there at the moment. >> mr. gavin, do you want to add? agree withcompletely the ambassador. we do see a number of these playing up donations of ppe and medical supplies, seizing the moment essentially to present themselves as critical alternative partners. one of the things that i see is
that playing this kind of transactional game is a real loser for the united states. we have created a scenario where the world has watched us involved in bidding against ourselves for access to equipment, not participating in quorums abouteral the vaccine and that crazy situation where it's assertive and everyone for himself, who has got something on offer today , very ad hoc transactional way of building relationships. it's not in our interest because it doesn't play to any of the u.s. strength. i think it's a really important question to ask but what it reveals also is the leadership gap. others have spoken to this. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. quigley. >> thank you all for
participating. dive, you touched on whereut we have a country i would say of majority are very skeptical of foreign aid. if we cannot appeal to their hearts, how do we appeal to the american people's minds? when upton sinclair wrote that i appeal to their hearts and i am a little lower, how would you mention this to a skeptical townhall whites in the american people's interest to deal with the capabilities of adjusting the virus in these areas of africa? >> thank you for that question.
before the environment changes, we thought americans care and we are out there supporting people. unless convinced that we care certainly as we look at our policies toward africa right now but i actually do feel strongly that americans care. when you look at the proactive activities of missionary groups in africa and some of the work there doing, we look at whatever internationalr humanitarian organizations are doing, they are making a difference on the continent and they are winning hearts and minds. for that reason, i think we have to stay in the game. also, we are no longer in a world where we are isolated. when you see a virus happen in china or anyplace else in the world, you know, because of the connectedness of the world that
you're going to see that happen here in the united states. the only way to deal with it is to be out there in front of it to ensure that the u.s. is protected. if we are not out there in front of it by providing the financial support to international aid programs to our diplomacy, then we are not going to be able to fromil these things entering the united states. united states i saw you nodding your head. any thoughts? >> i couldn't agree more. than is nothing better infectious disease to expand to a skeptic what you cannot write notswaths of the globe is mattering or imagining what happened there to never affect your sense of security.
a lot of americans maybe haven't wrapped their mind around the fact that in 2034, one in every four people on the globe will be african. there is a huge demographic shift underway on the downside risk, if you don't pay attention, there's the risk of infectious disease, instability to metastasize it into organizations that have global reach and threaten our interests but there is the upside as well. these are new partners, new markets, there is no way to address major challenges like climate change without african partners. there is no way to do it. i think kind of a reset and imagining that africa is incredibly remote but also reminding people that there is a lot to be gained from a peaceful and prosperous set of african partners. >> thank you.
i yield back. swellum. >> i was hoping that m facet or thomas greenfield would address downer covid has slowed china's initiatives as it looks toward africa. absolutely it has slowed it down but it down but has not stopped. it has certainly slowed down because china is dealing with its own crisis internally and domestically and there are lots of questions inside china about whether china should be expending when they have problems at home. that said, the initiative is moving forward. it's much slower than in the
past and it is having an impact like when you look at the infrastructure under belton road that is now on the continent of africa, the railway system in ethiopia j withabouti, it's making a difference and i think the chinese clearly see it's making a difference so i don't see them stopping that. they just may not be able to deliver as rapidly as they intended which gives us time also to look at what we might do rebuildingafrica on or building from scratch, their infrastructure. >> as we look at china's efforts to export five g, does this crisis give us any leverage to go back to some of our african country allies and talk about the risk of giving so much information to the chinese?
>> i think africans are concerned about giving information over to the chinese. givinge concerned about information in general. i think this provides us an 'sportunity to help africa technical capacity to deal with and improve relationships with china. we cannot just approach it with pointing her fingers at the africans and telling them that shall not. we have to approach it in a much more strategic way with doing technologyta and the they need -- to respond so they can benefit them and is in our national interest. thean anyone speak to african countries willing to distribute vaccines and what role we could play once the
vaccine is found and mass-produced? how can we enable that? >> i would like to take a cut at that. >> please go ahead, mr. morrison. >> there is a lot of action to winy right now to try consensus across governments, international bodies, aroundnters, industry the norms of distribution so that low income countries have affordable access, equity and transparency. the most significant initiative in that area has been led by the eu, the who, the bill and melinda gates foundation, something called the act accelerator. that group grew out of a g-7 initiative and had a very successful pledging drive mate for that raised $7.4 billion to
get field trials for the major vaccine candidates completed. now it is campaigning hard around making sure that those big bets on the vaccine which 10 that are in for human field trials, that there is consensus around dedicating certain portions to low income countries. made has been big progress lately and getting agreements with the astrazeneca which is proposing to produce 2 billion doses of its vaccine and having those apportioned around the world and setting up manufacturing sites that are distributed around the country. it's quite amazing to me the level of open sharing and dialogue that has happened in the last two or three months around these issues. the united states has been largely absent from that step china has made symbolic experiences here and there but the drivers of this are bill and melinda gates, the wellcome
trust, who, the european union and the major industry folks who are developing these vaccines. the doors open for participation by others but the norms have changed for sharing, transparency, data protocols, new ideas and planning ahead. billion toe 25-60 $5 manufacture and distribute the immunityto reachherd around the world. it maybe one or two doses but we will make -- need to get to 5.7 billion people. it's an unprecedented interest -- enterprise that will require more care to finance and organize. >> thank you you and i yield back. >> mr. castro. you for your testimony today. we are talking about different nations but with a generally come around the world
to have been some nations that have handled the covid-19 response better than others. south korea was pretty good and i think ours has been lackluster but probably not the worst. in terms of the region effectiveness to the response and the prognosis for recovery -- >> i'm happy to say a few words on that. i think it's important to know that we have had low numbers until recently and now we are in a breakout stage where the numbers are galloping forward. why did we have such low numbers for such a long time? heavily used population and they have dispersed geographically in many parts of the continent. one of the most important things was in mid-march, a majority of african leaders took the step of
putting in very strict lockdown rules and that was early in the progression of the pandemic into africa. they took steps not unlike what happened in cynic for -- in singapore and south korea. those are states that acted very aggressively and early in order to go into lockdown and attempt to bend the curve from that point forward. africa took that step stop it became unsustainable for reasons we urge -- we heard. the lockdown some cells when you have a poor population dependent on the informal economy and very you social subsidies. has shownca has been his -- exemplary action in this boat has problems with excess reliance on police and military when they did their modeling, they were very transparent on some of the projections. they shifted their strategy now from a sort of nationwide strategy to one that is focused on the hotspots in cape town and
elsewhere. i think that's what we will see in many countries where the lockdowns are not sustainable and have to move into a more nimble, focused hotspot strategy. we are already seeing that unfold in south africa and we will see that elsewhere. the second question i would have is i want to ask you about murderect george floyd's has had and how that's being received in sub-saharan africa? i know everybody has been luck out -- and lockdown. -- in lockdown. , whaton your expertise has done to the image of the united states? what does this region think about the united states this and mass protests in the united states.
>> we have done a couple of pieces, pulling key thought leaders on the continent for their thoughts on george floyd's murder. level, thereship has been some strong statements about it weather is the or whomever.ghana you generally have three responses. they are heartbroken at what happened and disappointed about the u.s. losing its stature in terms of value-based approach towards governance. the second response has been a feeling that any statements that the u.s. has made prior or maybe in the future about human rights are hypocritical.
one of the most interesting developments is actually an internal look -- can african governments talk about human rights when there is also that in their own country. you had a variety of responses and we have seen protests in various places acrs the continent from ghana to senegal. i think we are seeing the very pointed comments to the u.s. about this even in multilateral forums. they will sponsor and antiracism resolution injuring -- in germany in the coming weeks. this puts us in a poor place relative to china. earlier on, when the u.s. and others were making statements about one joe and the reason treatment of africans, it has limited our abilities talk about that because they get turnaround of point to our own racial divide. it's a tough moment but i would some of our people have
done the right thing, how truthfully and honest about the wounds in our society -- and i think that is better than the china denying. --have an incredible betters ambassador speaking from the heart white or black. could i say a few words? it's at the chairman's discretion since my time is up. lees, go ahead. clue --nk it's not a exclusive to africa but in many opinion circles in africa and elsewhere, there is a sense of shock when they watch what's happening in america. i think there is shock at seeing cases 200 andion 12,000 dead and 42 million unemployed.
we have not succeeded in getting control over this pandemic. deaths and00 new usually 20,000 plus new cases. then youhocking and add onto that a social crisis rooted in racism and police brutality in which you have turmoil and strife and other -- .t that creates levels of multiple crises building on one another in which people color and mostty have been the disadvantaged and heavily impacted by the pandemic, by the e, crisis -- by the economic crisis and police brutality. i think people look at this and think our society is one that is not operating with much coherence or functionality and
where does this go? i think there is fear of whiz may lead. there is also concern. there is a lot of solidarity thank you. . he my gratitude to the panelists for an excellent presentation today. dr. morrison, want tock. countriesthat african now deeply regret and of their transactions with china. ofmany months in a few years listening to reports on china's relationship with africa, i have never heard it expressed that strongly. i have often heard that african countries are beginning to wonder or question or would like to visit it which is tacky but
you said deeply regret. i would be very interested in having you give a little color to that and be more specific to help us understand that characterization. name names, which countries, what kind of transactions and what how widespread do you think that regret is? my point was that many african leaders anditresent whas most recent time. period of sixnown or seven weeks at the end of 2019 in which the virus existed and was spreading rapidly within province and wuhan and for political reasons, that news was repressed.
it only was disclosed to the world december 31 after much critical time had lapsed in which you could spread wildly which it did. afterwards, there were decisions taken that delay the sharing of allowing the -- in not expertise but just cleaning. atse in africa and asia look this and ask themselves, where is the accountability? if you have a country as china e place where these dangerous pathogens originate and yet, when that happens, we have little insight or visibility into what's happening in more ability to weigh in any at the victims of this are those who are the weakest with the lowest capacity to deal with this.
african states today find themselves on the precipice of a major catastrophe with very weak defenses. that's what i was getting at. there is no accountability and transparency when you have these dangerous pathogens emerge for countries that choose willfully to repress that knowledge at that critical moment when it's essential to intervene very quickly and with maximum aggression to repress and contain that. i heard you say deeply regret and not resent and i thought it was a reference to some of the other arrangements that of been made with china over the past few years as they have ramped up their investment and involvement in africa. i that i may have misspoke, meant to say resent but there is regret. and there is misgivings.
hereof our other experts are familiar with. it has to do with the terms of the compacts struck in africa n wrote inbelto respect to the quality of what was delivered, the debt load that comes with it, the relinquishing of sovereign control over natural resources and borders and critical decisions on infrastructure. of those things eat away -- >> i have limited time and i want to understand this. are you suggesting that this awareness over those unfavorable terms and conditions for those arrangements is, in fact growing both in breadth and death in africa with the relationships and transactions with china? >> i think it has been growing. for some time.
pandemic aggravates that further magnifies it. >> thank you very much. i yield back, mr. chairman. let's go to mr. welch. >> one of the dilemmas we have is that we have laid out straightforward recommendations about how the u.s. can be a constructive force here. but all presumes there is an interest in the government to play a role and to be a constructive force. mentioned, they are playing a transactional game as a loser. the administration is all about transactions, number one.
number two, there is essentially that government and diplomacy does not work. so i take your advice as wise and that counsel in congress do our level best to accomplish in policy. but i'm interested in the interactions you have with her government as it is. the administration is so fundamental in the execution of foreign policy. maybe we could start with ambassador thomas greenfield? , thank you fory the question.
diplomacy goes a long way in bridging those gaps and that needsps person-to-person contact. that has been missing in africa, there are very few high-level visits to the continent. when visiting on the basis of senior chinese going to africa and all of the decisions we discussed, they are constantly working to engage in we need that kind of engagement to show leaders i african bringing that here and having discussions with them and giving them the opportunities to share as what they see as priority needs and what they
need to assist them. would, as a former diplomat , start there. with diplomacy. >> may i jump in? i know you have limited time so i will be brief, one of the things you can do is exactly what you are doing, which is talking about this. what happens on the hill gets covered in africa. the power of your voice is a member of the u.s. congress is not insignificant. they are demonstrating that there are parts of the country that are still interested in transparency and accountability. when we speak honestly about what we have done so far and our
own response overseas, we will be steadfast in support of our values, democratic values and support for human rights. acknowledging the flaws in our own society, but keeping our true north as we improve conditions here and abroad. those conditions are important people do understand that america is complex is no other way to try to make sense of the whip sign of our policy in recent years. there is tremendous foreign inicy, value, and power congress being reasserted. >> i think there is an element of trying to offer reassurance and there is a nucleus within the congress with a lost her mind.
peter, you are absolutely right. i cannot tell you how much it makes us grieve to hear you and us how you hear from african colleagues have you -- how they hear of the united states as a nation in decline. goy see our withdrawal they to multi-nation donor conferences and we are not even present. see howartbreaking to our standing has declined so precipitously. not irreparably, but nonetheless precipitously. your thoughts and recommendations we will very much take that to heart and try to turn that around. >> thank you, mr. chairman, for
convening. we appreciate the discussion very much. most of the discussions have been answered, but you're also sitting here during pride month on a day when the supreme court has issued a historic ruling. word on the say a subject of lgbtq quality in sub-saharan africa. what is the state of play? those who travel internationally and focus on these things are struck by the fact that there is literally nothing in the way of structural support, legal or otherwise, for lgbtq communities in many countries around the world. maybe you could say a word on that today? if i may start, i think there
is a lot of progress to be made and it is not being ignored overseas. when i spoke to the assistant secretary, it was always on the agenda in our discussions with african leaders. i would call on president about his trip to africa in 2016. he raised it with the government of kenya in the context of these discussions at the au. people on the consonant and particularly the lgbtq community know they have support. on the board for the national endowment of democracy. we have funded organizations looking at lgbtq rights on the continent of africa. we have worked closely with civil society and we are dealing with a society that is extraordinarily resistant to
and to understanding rights across the board. more progress needs and i think we have to give our folks on the ground a pat on the back for very, very strong push and moving it forward. them,ant to congratulate but again i stress a lot more needs to be done. >> thank you. >> can i step in really quickly and just say there have been some areas of genuine progress. one of the countries i know best in botswana, the landmark court case for a long time and the ngo formed to protect the rights of lgbtq, bets want to had been denied the capacity to register
as a normal organization because of legal restrictions. they were working their way through the course when i was serving their. in conversation after conversation, it was clear to me that things were trending in the right direction. botswana is a tremendously conservative society in a number of ways. ,t is an outlier in some ways but what happened has given me a lot of progress that what has happened is possible in the united states continues to play a role that pushes diplomatically. diplomatsevening our on the ground the space to know. i think that had we approached it a certain way, we certainly cannot hide from the issue. if we had approached it a certain way, i think he would have slowed progress.
program, it on the will give you the conversation to get to the right place. >> may i add one point to this? shall i go ahead? >> yes, please. >> we have had a wave of regret of action within africa. stress uponenormous the u.s. programs particularly ess to these protections is critical to success. byhave had valiant efforts our folks on the ground managing those programs. they have shown results but the struggle definitely continues. verydicated, we have to be daft in the way we maneuver.
a $4.5instituting billion year laterally that will give us some leverage to see about how we go about spending that money. and if we see a strong deterioration of rights, it continues to reignition of the hiv epidemic. these things are inextricably tied to one another. >> thank you, sir. fica just added in addition to botswana, other countries have done a tremendous job in terms of moving anti-homophobic laws from their books. but in addition to everything my colleagues have said, it's actually a leading indicator of the country that is looking to move towards an autocratic, authoritarian government. countries which have homophobic laws on the
books, it tends to be assigned that they are trying to distract and find an issue that they think is populist and then be able to entrench their rule. in francophone countries, the laws don't exist in bc them start to approximate them. .e just saw this in chad about a governments own view of the vulnerability and fragility and how it treats these issues to regain control. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> i think that was our last member. i want to thank all four of our witnesses for an extrana
appreciate your many, many years of service to the country and the insights you shared with us today, which we will certainly think on and act on. thank you very much. this will conclude our virtual hearing, and with that, we are adjourned. >> the senate judiciary committee convenes a hearing today to examine the police department use of force rules and policing. c-span, onve on c-span.org or listen lot on the free radio app. can do do you think we about that? with protests in the coronavirus continuing in the country, watch our live coverage of the governor response. acrosss and mayors from
the country are updating the situation and, from the campaign 2020 trail. join every day of washington journal, and if you have missed any coverage watch any on demand or listen on the go with the free radio app. the senate continues work today on a public package that will provide permit funding for the land and water conservation fund. it would also establish a fund for maintenance of national parks and lands. a final vote is excepted tomorrow also this week executive and judicial nominations aired and on the floor, a motion to meet with the house on fisa reauthorization. follow the senate live on c-span2. the house is not in session but members continue work off the floor on its own version of
police reform legislation. the house returns june 25. watch live, on c-span. first ladies, influence and image, examines the private lives and public roles of the nation's first ladies through interviews with top historians. tonight, we look at dolley madison, elizabeth monro, and luis adams. watch first ladies, influence american, tonight, on history tv on c-span3. host: joining us from atlanta this morning is former congressman bob barr. he represented the seventh district of georgia from 1995 to 2003. he is also the president and ceo of the law enforcement foundation. mr. barr, let's begin with your foundation. how is it funded? >> the law enforcement education foundation headquartered in atlanta