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Foreign aid cuts would damage U.S. interests

Source: InterAction - USA - Wed, 27 Jul 2011 16:15 GMT
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U.S. House Republican appropriators today continued their assault on U.S. international efforts to reduce poverty, address climate change, and respond to famine and other disasters. This comes a week after the House Foreign Affairs Committee also sought to gut core development accounts.

“These cuts will not only harm U.S. national interests, they will have a huge impact on the lives of those who are already marginalized in the poorest corners of the earth,” said Samuel A. Worthington, president and CEO of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international NGOs.

He added: “The argument that a nation with an annual GDP of $14.6 trillion cannot afford to invest a fraction of 1% of that to proactively work to build a safer, more prosperous world, and to fully fund desperately needed humanitarian activity, is simply false.” 

Some of the deepest cuts suggested by appropriators today include:

  • USAID Operating Expenses slashed  by 27% to $982.5 million (was $1.3 billion in FY11)
  • Overall poverty-focused international development and humanitarian assistance cut by 13% to $13.95 billion (was $15.95 billion in FY11)
  • Development Assistance cut by 18% to $2.1 billion (was $2.5 billion in FY11)
  • International Disaster Assistance: cut by 12% to $758 million (was $863 million in FY11, $1.3 billion in FY10 including emergency funding);
  • Contributions to multilateral efforts to combat climate change: Cut to zero from $248 million in FY11, $388 million in FY10.

“With the worst drought in 60 years hitting parts of the Horn of Africa, these cuts amount to the U.S. turning its back on its own strategic interests and walking away from long held international commitments.   For America’s own good and for those around the world who look to the U.S. for leadership, we need to do better,” said Worthington.


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