Just as VEGA’s Leader with Associate Award through USAID was set to expire on June 9, 2017, USAID renewed it for another three months and adding $7.5 million to an unused ceiling of $19 million.
VEGA, of which IESC is a lead member, has been working for several months to educate members of Congress and the new administration about the extraordinary impact being made by skilled volunteers around the globe and here at home. VEGA wants to ensure government leaders understand that using skilled volunteers in U.S. global development efforts is an impactful and cost-effective model that should be continued and expanded.
The LWA extension gives time for the incoming USAID administrator (once confirmed) to understand VEGA’s value and determine next steps.
IESC has enthusiastically supported and contributed to VEGA’s advocacy efforts. VEGA was also bolstered by a bipartisan cohort of congressional champions who sent letters in support of VEGA: Sens. John Boozman (R-Ark.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.); as well as Reps. French Hill (R-Ark.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Dan Donovan (R-N.Y.), Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.), Don Beyer (D-Va.), and Chris Stewart (R-Utah).
“While this three-month extension is welcome,” said IESC President Tom Miller, “we still have a lot of work ahead to ensure the LWA’s longer-term status.”
“We are very encouraged and enthusiastic about the possibilities for continuing our successful partnership to engage the generous skills and spirit of the American people in generating more prosperity around the globe,” said VEGA President Michael Deal.