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Media Advisory | July 27 Telephonic Press Briefing with USAID Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance David Harden

Please join us on Wednesday, July 27, 2016, at 1300 GMT for a telephonic press conference with USAID Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance David Harden. The speaker will announce additional U.S. funding for the response to southern Africa’s El Niño-related drought.


This funding will coincide with President Khama’s official launch of the Southern African Development Community (SADC)’s regional appeal for $2.4 billion in assistance, which will take place in Botswana on July 26.  The United States has already provided almost $400 million in relief and development programs to mitigate the drought’s impacts in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Madagascar, Lesotho, and Swaziland.

Since March 2015, the United States has provided close to $1 billion in emergency assistance to countries impacted by El Niño globally, and adjusted development efforts.  Our integrated response has three pillars: 1) mobilizing an early and robust humanitarian response to meet immediate needs; 2) activating emergency resources in development efforts to protect gains made; and 3) adjusting development programs to mitigate impacts and accelerate recovery.

In Southern Africa, emergency needs due to the drought have increased quickly.  Mobilizing humanitarian assistance will be critical to protect the region’s development gains and ensure early recovery.  Our additional contribution will help meet growing needs by providing emergency food assistance, nutrition and health support, the provision of safe drinking water, and seeds ahead of the upcoming planting season to promote agricultural recovery.  The United States also remains committed to supporting country-led efforts to build resilience to climate shocks and stresses in the region.


Speakers: USAID Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance David Harden

Date: July 27, 2016 Time: 13:00 GMT | 09:00 EDT

* Please use Time Zone Converter to determine the start time of the event in your time zone.

Language: English.  French and Portuguese interpretation will be offered.

Ground rules: On the record

Dial-in Info: To be provided once you RSVP

RSVP: RSVP to  Please indicate if you will dial in (specify

English/French/Portuguese line), or request that we dial out to you (provide the phone number and language to be used).

Twitter: We will use the hashtags #elnino for the call.  Follow us on @AfricaMediaHub, @USAID_DCHA and @USAID_SAfrica.


  • Callers should dial-in to the conference call 10-15 minutes early. 
  • When an individual journalist dials-in, the operator will collect the caller’s name, press affiliation, and location.  When an embassy dials in, the operator will ask the embassy’s name and location.
  • The moderator will facilitate the Q and A among the connected callers.  Journalists on the conference call will be instructed to press the “*” and “1” buttons on their phones in order to enter the question queue.  NOTE:  You can press “*1” at any time during the call to join the question queue, even before the moderator begins the Q and A portion.  We ask that journalists limit themselves to one question and indicate to which speaker the question is directed.  Journalists can also submit questions in English to prior to or during the call. 

Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Department of State.

BIO: R. David Harden Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance

R. David Harden is the USAID Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA), where he leads over 800 team members in nine offices focused on emergency preparedness, crisis preventation, and promoting resilient socities. Mr. Harden was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as USAID’s Assistant Administrator for DCHA in June 2016. Before his arrival to DCHA, Mr. Harden was the USAID West Bank and Gaza Mission Director beginning July 2013 . Prior to this, he was the Deputy Mission Director for the USAID Mission in Iraq where he managed a multi-year $1.3 billion portfolio focused on governance (including capacity development in the health and education sectors), democracy and economic growth. Mr. Harden is an experienced Middle East veteran, having also served for three years as the Senior Advisor to the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace. Based in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, he helped shape and implement United States policy toward Palestinian economic and institutional development as well as Israeli security related to Palestinian trade. From 2005-2009, Mr. Harden was the USAID West Bank and Gaza Deputy Mission Director. In September 2011, Mr. Harden also established the first USAID presence in Libya. He was part of a small expeditionary, inter-agency team charged to re-open the embassy, re-establish basic operations, respond to the humanitarian needs during and immediately after the war, and assist with the political transition from Qaddafi rule. Mr. Harden served as the USAID Regional Legal Advisor in Central Asia from 2003-2005 and in South Asia from 1999-2003. He has studied Arabic, Russian and Bangla. Mr. Harden earned his Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University. He received a Master of Arts in Political Science from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Franklin and Marshall College. Before entering the Foreign Service, Mr. Harden worked as a corporate lawyer New York City and Charlotte, North Carolina and earlier served as a consultant in Peshawar, Pakistan and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana. Mr. Harden is married to Sharon Albright Harden, a lawyer and consultant and they have three teenage children: Tyler, Ryan and Waverly. He is a native of Westminster, Maryland.

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