Top 10 Reasons to Support U.S. Leadership in Ending Extreme Poverty

 

  1. Aid works. Over the past few decades, the world has seen incredible improvements in health, education and economic well-being. Great strides have been made against malaria, polio, tuberculosis and other curable diseases. Millions of people have lifted themselves out of poverty through increased education, improved agriculture, microfinancing and other programs that help the world’s poorest. Visit InterAction's special publication, Aidworks, to see how America is producing results that make a difference.
  2. It’s the right thing to do. America should be a force for good in the world. The U.S. can make an enormous difference in saving lives, protecting children, improving health, and helping families and communities become self-sufficient. 
  3. The American people support ending extreme poverty. Each year, InterAction’s 180 member organizations alone raise more than $8 billion in private funds from the American people for their international development and humanitarian relief programs.  Looking at all U.S. NGOs, including InterAction’s members, U.S. NGOs spent $14 billion in private funds on development programs around the world. 
  4. Programs that help end poverty make up a tiny fraction of the U.S. budget. At seven-tenths of 1% of the total federal budget, it’s an investment that pays huge dividends without contributing significantly to our national debt. 
  5. U.S. investments make private investments go further. The U.S. – more than any other country – can convene the public, private, corporate and nonprofit sectors to coordinate activities aimed at ending extreme poverty. And when America invests, private organizations can invest more – and help improve results.
  6. It enhances our national security. By supporting and strengthening responsible governments that seek to advance the well-being and success of their citizens, we help create stability around the world, reducing the chances of conflict and spreading peace. That’s why military leaders have told Congress year after year that “U.S. development and diplomacy programs are a critical but undervalued component of America’s national security strategy.” 
  7. Aid boosts the U.S. economy. About 95% of the world’s consumers are overseas, representing 80% of the world’s purchasing power. Developing countries represent some of the fastest growing markets in the world. They purchase more than 50% of all U.S. exports. By helping people around the world increase their economic buying power, we help increase our exports and create jobs here at home.
  8. It protects Americans from deadly disease. In our interconnected world, just one person on a U.S.-bound flight could start an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Ebola hemorrhagic fever, polio, drug-resistant tuberculosis or any number of other diseases. Global health research and expanding public emergency health systems in key countries helps prevent, detect and effectively respond to infectious disease threats before they reach our shores.
  9. Good taxpayer investment. When we make small investments that enhance stability, self-sufficiency and good governance around the world, we lessen the chances for costly U.S. military interventions down the road. As former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said: “Development is a lot cheaper than sending soldiers.”
  10. It’s accountable and transparent. Recent investments in monitoring, evaluation and learning have vastly improved the accountability of U.S. foreign assistance programs. Increasing the effectiveness of aid relies on improving accountability, transparency and responsible governance. We should support legitimate, accountable governments that prevent corruption. But when governments are weak, corrupt and unaccountable, the United States should support communities directly to meet their needs and strengthen their ability to demand better performance from their governments. 

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