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


  1. 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. 
  2. The American people support ending extreme poverty. Each year, InterAction’s 189 member organizations alone raise more than $8 billion in private funds for their international development and humanitarian relief programs.  U.S. NGOs, including InterAction’s members,  spend $14 billion in private funds on development programs around the world annually.
  3. 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.
  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, investment in anti-poverty programs pay huge dividends without contributing significantly to our national debt.
    Foreign Aid and the Rest of the Federal Budget, 2016
  5. The U.S. is responding to the worst humanitarian crises since World War II. With over 60 million people forcibly displaced worldwide, the U.S. must continue its leadership to help refugees and internally displaced persons survive conflict in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, South Sudan and other hotspots. Weather patterns caused by El Nino and resulting food shortages put even more people at risk for food insecurity.
  6. It protects Americans from deadly disease. In our interconnected world, just one person on a U.S.-bound flight could start an outbreak of ZIKA, Ebola hemorrhagic fever, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), 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.
  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 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.”
  9. It’s a 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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