During the second Summit for Democracy, President Biden announced new financial support to continue efforts to strengthen freedom and democracy worldwide.
The funding Biden announced March 29 is subject to congressional approval and includes $690 million to further efforts toward democratic renewal over the next two years. Biden also announced an ambitious goal of investing $9.5 billion to advance democracy and reforms that protect human rights and foster prosperity.
“It’s working,” Biden said, commending numerous countries for democratic reforms taken since the inaugural Summit for Democracy in December 2021. “This is a turning point for our world toward greater freedom, greater dignity, and greater democracy.”
The new funding commitments announced during the second summit March 29–30 build on the more than $400 million Biden announced at the first summit to further core democratic principles such as supporting free and independent media, combating corruption and defending free and fair elections.
Joe Biden speaking to reporters who are holding up voice recorders and iPhones (State Dept./Linda D. Epstein)
Supporting independent media is a pillar of the Summit for Democracy’s push to advance freedom globally. Above, Biden talks to reporters outside the White House March 28. (State Dept./Linda D. Epstein)
The December 2021 summit convened 100 world leaders and formalized collaboration between governments, civil society and the private sector to advance democracy worldwide. The Republic of Korea will host a third Summit for Democracy in the future.
At the 2023 summit, Biden said numerous governments have advanced democratic governance and the rule of law, noting that:
Angola created new appellate courts, advancing an independent judiciary.
The Dominican Republic modernized its anti-corruption law and created local anti-corruption offices.
Croatia increased transparency of public procurement.
Additionally, democracies worked together to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and bolster global health, address the climate crisis, strengthen food security and condemn Russia’s unjust and unprovoked war against Ukraine, Biden said.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will create a bureau for democracy, human rights and governance to implement the newly announced funding and modernize support for democracy around the world.
To promote independent media, USAID will also work with the private sector to create an online database to help media outlets analyze markets and increase their chance for profitability.
During summit events, Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken said ensuring the full participation of women and underrepresented groups in society is critical to successful democracies. U.S. partnerships for women’s equality include leading a 12-nation coalition, with Denmark, to counter technology-facilitated gender-based violence.
“Wherever women and girls are under threat, democracy, peace, and stability are at risk as well,” Biden said. “Democracy demands full and equal participation of all — all of our citizens.”