150. Letter From the Director of the International Development Cooperation Agency (Ehrlich) to Secretary of State Vance 1

Dear Cy:

Your letter of October 182 suggested three specific issues, relating to our foreign assistance programs, that you recommend IDCA take the lead in studying jointly with the State Department.

I strongly share your concern that we need to review the conditions underlying the balance between our multilateral and bilateral assistance programs, and decide what allocation will best serve our objectives in the future. This question is high on the agenda of priority development issues that I am preparing for the President; my staff is already working on the matter. I look forward to IDCA/STATE cooperation in this area.

I also share your concern about the need to simplify our aid programs. We should review the issue thoroughly on the Executive side first, and then we can pursue an inter-agency agreed agenda (with priorities) on an informal basis with Congressional staff. I have asked my staff to begin consultation with relevant agencies.

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The need to improve the effectiveness of our presentation on foreign assistance to the Congress is also an issue worthy of review. I have asked my Assistant Director for Legislative and Public Affairs, Roger Cochetti to contact his counterparts in State, AID and Treasury to work on this.

On all these issues, I am grateful for your recommendations and welcome the close collaboration of our staffs.

Cordially,

Thomas Ehrlich 3
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Official Working Papers of S/P, 1977–1981, Box 5, S/PLake Papers—7/16–31/79. Confidential.
  2. See Document 149.
  3. Ehrlich signed “Tom” above this typed signature.