House Foreign Assistance Advocacy Day

On July 26, InterAction’s Public Policy Committee led its second Foreign Assistance Advocacy Day.  InterAction members met with nearly twenty House congressional offices, advocating for the importance of a robust FY18 international affairs budget and a strong and independent USAID. The group also reiterated that any efforts to make organizational changes to USAID and the Department of State must be thoughtful and strategic. This approach is essential to ensure effective and efficient US development and diplomacy programs abroad. The InterAction delegation consisted of leaders from a cross-section of its membership, representing various sectors of the humanitarian and international development community.

The Advocacy Day was aimed at members of the House Foreign Affairs and Appropriations Committees in order to re-engage them in the FY18 budget process, following the recent Senate markup of the Foreign Affairs budget. In the coming month, representatives from the House and the Senate are expected to negotiate final budgetary levels. Advocates stressed the need for increased funding levels for international poverty and humanitarian accounts and urged House champions to match or go above the Senate allocation of $53 billion. The president’s proposed FY18 cuts to foreign assistance would put countless lives at risk and jeopardize U.S. role as a global leader.

The delegation’s advocacy efforts were well received by House offices on both sides of the aisle. Many offices were eager to hear recommendations from the community on USAID and State redesign efforts and reinforced the necessity of congressional oversight on such efforts. Examples of the indirect impacts of funding cuts particularly helped offices to better understand the implications of proposed program cuts on long term development sustainability.

In the coming year, InterAction’s Public Policy Committee will conduct foreign assistance advocacy days every other month to regularly and actively engage congressional members on foreign assistance.

Participating Organizations:


American Jewish World Service

Catholic Relief Services

ChildFund International

Crown Agents USA

Dilafruz Khonikboyeva (Aga Khan Foundation)

Feed the Children

Friends of the Global Fight

Global Communities

Global Health Council

Heartland Alliance International

International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

International Medical Corps

International Orthodox Christian Charities

IntraHealth International/Frontline Health Workers Coalition

Islamic Relief USA

Mercy Corps

Management Sciences for Health (MSH)



Plan International USA


Save the Children

Solidarity Center

United Nations Foundation

US Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC)


World Food Program USA

For more information on InterAction’s congressional outreach please contact Soshana Hashmie