Proposed Budget Cuts Would Remove Vital Funding from Key U.S. Foreign Assistance Programs

Photo By: Diego Cambiaso / Flickr

InterAction CEO Sam Worthington calls for strong, well-resourced development and humanitarian programs to address current global crises

WASHINGTON – On Thursday, March 16 the White House released topline budget recommendations for fiscal year 2018 (PDF), which proposed to eliminate a number of agencies and partially withdraw funding from international institutions. In reaction to the proposed eliminations and cuts to the U.S. State and Foreign Operations Budget, InterAction CEO Sam Worthington said:

"The White House's proposed cuts to the U.S. foreign assistance budget would remove vital funding from U.S. efforts to aid vulnerable communities around the globe at a critical time."

"We have clear evidence that foreign assistance works and saves lives," Worthington added. "We know it is most effective when different actors play different roles and have appropriate budgets. U.S. foreign aid, however, represents less than 1% of the overall budget. Cuts to U.S. foreign assistance just won't provide any significant fiscal savings. Eliminating agencies tailored to bolster U.S. leadership abroad or reducing our role in international institutions that bear the costs of a global system only weakens America's ability to lead."

"We have made incredible strides in the last two decades to help people improve their lives and create a more stable, prosperous and peaceful world. Now is the time for Congress to work with the administration to reinforce our nation's long and proud bipartisan legacy of leadership on issues of international development and humanitarian assistance," Worthington stressed.

BACKGROUND

The U.S. State and Foreign Operations Budget funds life-saving programs and plays a vital role in asserting U.S. leadership and national interests around the world. Over 41 million students have directly benefited from USAID basic education programs. Since 2008, USAID has saved the lives of 4.6 million children and 200,000 mothers by scaling up proven health interventions. USAID led a U.S. Government effort to the Ebola crisis, helping to contain the disease that killed 11,300 and infected over 28,600 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, bringing the number of cases to zero.

Editor's Note: Additional InterAction experts, upon request, are available to members of the media for comment and analysis on press questions related to development and humanitarian relief priorities in the FY 2018 U.S. foreign operations budget. For more information please contact Caleb Zimmerman, czimmerman@interaction.org.

InterAction is the largest U.S. alliance of nongovernmental international organizations, with more than 190 members. Our members operate in every developing country, working with local communities to overcome poverty and suffering by helping to improve their quality of life. Visit www.interaction.org.

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