Summary: S.588 — 96th Congress (1979-1980)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Indefinitely postponed in Senate (06/19/1979)

(Measure indefinitely postponed in Senate, H. R. 3324 passed in lieu)

International Development Assistance Act of 1979 - =Title I: Development Assistance= - Amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 1980 for: (1) agriculture, rural development, and nutrition (with an emphasis on forestry projects); (2) population planning and health (including funds for the John Sparkman Center for International Public Health Education at the University of Alabama); (3) education and human resources development; (4) technical assistance for energy, research, reconstruction, and selected development problems; (5) the Sahel development program; (6) American schools and hospitals abroad; (7) international organizations and programs; (8) international disaster assistance; (9) reimbursable development programs; and (10) operating expenses.

Declares that in order to help developing countries alleviate their energy problems by improving their ability to use indigenous energy resources for commercial purposes, the President is authorized to furnish assistance in data collection and analysis and the training of skilled personnel.

Authorizes the President to include in the cooperative energy programs with developing countries: (1) research and development of suitable energy technology; (2) analysis of energy uses, needs and resources; (3) training; and (4) scientific interchange.

Sets limits on the aggregate amount of interest that may be waived or amounts that may be paid into local currency accounts of relatively least developed countries.

Requires the agency primarily responsible for administering assistance programs for countries in which there is illicit narcotics cultivation to give priority consideration to programs which would help reduce such cultivation by stimulating broader development opportunities.

Directs the Administrator of the agency primarily responsible for administering loan repayments to conduct an annual review of bilateral concessional loan balances, and to determine and identify those countries whose financial resources make possible accelerated loan repayments. Requires that the criteria used in making such determinations be established in conjunction with the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate. Provides that an annual report of the status of such accelerated loan repayment shall be made to such committees.

Increases the amount of housing guaranties that may be outstanding at any one time. Extends the housing guaranty program and the agricultural credit and self-help community development program through September 30, 1982. Repeals the minimum interest rate with regard to such housing guaranties. Requires that housing guarantees be issued only for housing projects which are coordinated with and complementary to any development assistance being furnished under such Act. Specifies an amount to be issued for housing guaranties in Israel and Egypt.

Requires, to the maximum extent practicable, that any university research done in accordance with such Act in the developing countries themselves: (1) be directly related to the needs of the developing countries; (2) be carried out within the developing countries; (3) be adapted to local circumstances; (4) provide for the most effective interrelationship between research, education, and extension in promoting agricultural development in developing countries; and (5) emphasize the improvement of local systems for delivering the best available knowledge to the small farmers of such countries.

Earmarks a specified amount for voluntary contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. Conditions the obligation of more than a certain amount of such funds upon the President's certification to the Congress that contributions above such level have been matched by equivalent contributions by members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Revises the procedure for the computation of benefits and costs of water or land resource construction projects.

Prohibits the use of any funds authorized to furnish assistance to Afghanistan until the President certifies to Congress that the Government of Afghanistan: (1) has apologized officially and assumes responsibility for the death of Ambassador Adolph Dubs; and (2) agrees to provide adequate protection for all United States personnel in Afghanistan.

Permits the use of private voluntary agencies in carrying out certain assistance projects if such agency is registered with the Agency for International Development.

Repeals: (1) the South African educational assistance program; (2) the requirement of a Presidential report to Congress concerning major environment and natural resource problems; (3) the exclusion of assistance to countries seizing or penalizing U.S. fishing vessels in international waters; and (4) other technical changes.

Increases the authorization of appropriations for military assistance to be used for Sudan.

Provides additional travel allowances for dependents of employees of the State Department, International Communication Agency, and the Agency for International Development.

Permits development assistance, credits, or guaranteed loans to any country significantly improving its human rights record. Directs the Secretary to report to Congress on the impact on U.S. foreign relations of the reports on the human rights practices of foreign governments.

Allows development assistance to be furnished to Haiti, if the President determines that Haiti has shown good faith im implementing adequate fiscal reform and human rights measures.

Expresses the sense of the Senate that the President should call for the immediate convening of an emergency session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, or other appropriate fora, to deal with the refugee crisis in Southeast Asia.

Urges all nations to become parties to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Directs the Secretary to report to the Congress regarding the Department's implementation of this provision.

Directs the Secretary to include in the annual report on human rights practices, a report on such practices by countries which do not receive assistance but are members of the United Nations.

Expresses the sense of Congress that the President should negotiate with other developed nations to increase their contributions for development assistance through multilateral programs.

Stipulates that the Institute for Scientific and Technological Cooperation shall be established within the International Development Cooperation Agency, whenever such agency is established.

=Title II: Peace Corps= - Peace Corps Act Amendments of 1979 - Amends the Peace Corps Act to authorize appropriations for the Peace Corps through fiscal year 1980. Permits persons who have served at least 36 months in a Foreign Service Reserve or Staff appointment, to be appointed to a Federal position in the competitive service or in an established merit system in the excepted service.

=Title III: Food for Peace= - Amends the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 to direct the President to: (1) give consideration to expanding markets for local foodstuffs, as well as U.S. agricultural commodities, by increasing demand and stimulating economic growth; and (2) take precautions that credit sales and commodity distributions do not interfere with local food production or marketing. Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to safeguard the usual marketing of agricultural commodities of the recipient country, as well as the United States, when entering into agreements for financing agricultural exports.

Requires entities distributing commodities to work with and support indigenous institutions. Stipulates that agreements allowing the sale of commodities for foreign currency provide that the currency be used to alleviate the causes of the need for assistance as well as increase the effectiveness of food distribution and the availability of food. Authorizes the value of U.S. agricultural commodities to be applied by the recipient country against its repayment obligation under the Food and Development Program.

Stipulates that consideration in carrying out Food for Development projects be given to programs using U.S. agriculture to further economic development and increase food production.

Deletes the requirement that a country's utilization proposal include an annual plan for the intended uses of the commodities only for the years such funds are to be disbursed.

Permits the value of the commodities or amounts received from the sale of commodities to be used against the recipient country's credit obligation to the Commodity Credit Corporation. Requires recipient countries to include in their reports to the President a description of how the commodities were used. Requires the President to include in the annual report a review of agreements providing for the use of the value of agricultural commodities when the funds or commodities were not fully disbursed the preceding year.

Authorizes the export of commodities to meet developmental purposes even if it results in inadequate domestic supplies. Stipulates that in periods of short supply humanitarian concerns will be given priority over developmental purposes.

Requires the use of agricultural commodities under this Act for humanitarian and developmental objectives, as well as expansion of U.S. and recipient countries' agricultural commodity markets. Directs the carrying out of country assessments in order to determine the types and quantities of agricultural commodities needed.

Declares that there shall be a relatively constant supply of commodities provided over the life of programs conducted under this Act.

Amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to declare that assistance under such Act and the Agriculture and Trade Assistance Act of 1954 emphasize programs to assist developing countries to increase their national food security.

=Title IV: Effective Date= - Makes the provisions of this Act effective October 1, 1979.