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Historic partnership: U.S. and India establish Gandhi-King Development Foundation


New Delhi, June 17, 2024: In a landmark move, senior officials from the United States and India signed a Statement of Intent to formally establish the Gandhi-King Development Foundation (GKDF) by October 2024. The agreement was reached during White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s visit to India.

This development builds on the U.S. Congress’s passage of the Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative Act in December 2020, sponsored by Representative Gregory W. Meeks. The Act authorized USAID to create the Gandhi-King Development Foundation, emphasizing the collaborative spirit between the two nations.

U.S. Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, highlighted the foundation’s importance, stating, “The Gandhi-King Development Foundation represents a transformative partnership between the United States and India, rooted in the visionary ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. The foundation underscores our shared commitment to forging global progress by leveraging our collective strengths.”

USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator for Asia, Änjali Kaur, who signed the Statement of Intent on behalf of USAID in New Delhi, echoed this sentiment. “USAID is proud to support the Gandhi-King Development Foundation, which will promote inclusive and sustainable development, symbolizing the friendship and common values of the United States and India,” Kaur said.

Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Gregory W. Meeks, expressed his satisfaction with the progress. “I was glad to witness this important progress towards establishing the Gandhi-King Development Foundation, which will further strengthen the bonds between the United States and India. The Foundation will honor two visionary leaders and leverage the strength of our private sectors to address important issues such as public health, climate change and air pollution, and the empowerment of women,” Meeks stated.

The Gandhi-King Development Foundation signifies a groundbreaking partnership aimed at addressing global development challenges. It will operate locally in India, utilizing both public and private resources to advance India’s national and global development objectives. These initiatives include combating climate change, reducing tuberculosis, improving water and sanitation, minimizing health impacts of air pollution, enhancing education outcomes, and promoting economic empowerment for women.

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