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The below is attributable to Acting Spokesperson Shejal Pulivarti:

On June 23, Administrator Power participated in “Pride@USAID: Accelerating LGBTQI+ Inclusive Development,” with Senior LGBTQI+ Coordinator Jay Gilliam and advocates for LGBTQI+ equality from around the world. The event highlighted the Agency’s commitment to advancing the human rights and inclusion of all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and people of diverse genders and sexualities (LGBTQI+) around the world.

U.S. Director of the Asian Development Bank Ambassador Chantale Wong provided virtual keynote remarks, noting the significance of USAID’s backing of LGBTQI+ inclusive development and its instrumental role in the U.S. government recommendation for a standalone “Gender + Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, and Sex Characteristics” (SOGIESC) safeguard at the Asian Development Bank.

The Administrator and Senior LGBTQI+ Coordinator discussed the importance of thoughtfully and intentionally integrating LGBTQI+ considerations across all development programs and humanitarian assistance as part of USAID’s inclusive development efforts, which elevate attention to marginalized and underrepresented communities and individuals. The Administrator announced a new USAID Inclusive Development e-module would be mandatory for all staff. Administrator Power also underscored the critical connection between democratic backsliding and infringements on the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons, which is often the first attack on fundamental freedoms of expression. She recognized the crucial importance of Agency localization efforts and partnerships with local LGBTQI+-led organizations to guide and inform all of USAID’s work.

The event highlighted USAID’s groundbreaking LGBTQI+ inclusive development work in Botswana, El Salvador, Jamaica, Kosovo, India, and other countries. A Foreign Service National serving in USAID/North Macedonia was presented with the 2022 LGBTQI+ Inclusion Award in recognition of her commitment and passion for advocating for LGBTQI+ people and survivors of gender-based violence in North Macedonia. Acting Director of the USAID Center for Education Dr. Christine Pagen also spoke, reaffirming the Agency’s commitment to ensuring that all learners and educators, inclusive of all sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions, and sex characteristics, are able to thrive. Acting Director Pagen also highlighted the recently developed guidance and e-learning module on integrating LGBTQI+ considerations into education programming.

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