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Ivanka Trump unveils White House global women initiative

AP  |  Washington 

is unveiling an effort aimed at helping 50 million women in the developing world, including India, get ahead economically over the next six years.

On Thursday, the will officially launch the Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, a governmentwide project led by the and daughter to

The initiative will involve the State Department, the and other agencies.

It aims to coordinate current programs and develop new ones to assist women in areas such as job training, financial support, and legal or regulatory reforms.

The previewed the launch during his State of the Union address Tuesday night, describing it as "part of our commitment to improving opportunity for women everywhere."

He will sign a national security memorandum to officially launch the initiative Thursday, framing it as a way to promote stability around the world.

Ivanka Trump, who will attend the Munich Security Conference next week to promote the project, stressed that she sees this as a national security priority.

"We think women are arguably the most under-tapped resource in the developing world for accelerating economic growth and prosperity," she told

The effort will draw on public and private resources, with the U.S. Agency for International Development initially setting up a USD 50 million fund, using already-budgeted dollars.

As part of the launch, USAID and will announce a partnership aimed at women in India, and USAID and will sign an agreement designed to help female entrepreneurs export goods.

Trump has twice tried unsuccessfully to slash USAID's budget by a third, and his "first" foreign policy has sought to limit the United States' role as an international leader. But his daughter said this effort was in keeping with administration goals, arguing it was a strategic investment that promoted security.

"We're proud of our legacy of being a generous nation, looking to uplift others around the world. But we want to do so in a fiscally responsible way," she said, promising "rigorous" efforts to track progress. Among those she has consulted for the project is former

The launch Thursday will feature a round-table discussion and presidential signing ceremony. Attendees were to include Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, officials from USAID and UNICEF, elected officials and business leaders, as well as women who are the beneficiaries of this type of aid.

The initiative builds on previous efforts to help women internationally. The established an Office of Global Women's Issues at the State Department and established an ambassador-at-large for global women's Issues. That position has been vacant since Trump took office drawing criticism from some advocates but the White House said it now has a candidate lined up for the job.

Since she joined the administration in early 2017, has focused on women's economic issues. She previously led an effort to launch a fund to help drive women's entrepreneurship. And she recently advocated for the Women's Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act, which bolsters efforts focused on women by USAID.

said her hope is that this effort has staying power beyond the current administration. Past global initiatives she has studied include the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for Relief, started under in 2003.

"This is not an initiative that we think should stop at the culmination of the administration," she said. "We think it's something that should sustain itself over time, and we're going to work really hard to show that this is a great use of foreign development assistance.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 07 2019. 20:55 IST
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