U.S. House proposes drastic cuts to State Department and USAID funding

Capitol Hill

In a statement today, InterAction said proposed cuts in the U.S. House of Representatives' State Department and foreign operations appropriations bill would have devastating consequences for the world's most vulnerable populations and gut core development and humanitarian spending accounts.

"Such cuts are counterproductive, short-sighted and portray the United States as a nation that doesn't care about the plight of the world's poorest people," said Samuel A. Worthington, president of InterAction, whose 200 members work in developing countries across the world.

The House of Representatives State and Foreign Operations Appropriations subcommittee plans to mark up the legislation Wednesday morning. Among the most worrying elements in the bill is a proposed 18 percent cut in the development assistance account at USAID, which funds projects from water and microfinance to agriculture, food security and basic education, and a 12 percent cut in disaster assistance (42 percent less if comparing two years back), slashing humanitarian aid during the worst famine in Africa in decades.

Watch this space for the latest news on the 2012 foreign assistance budget. For more background information, see InterAction's special budget web page.