These cuts...would cripple America’s ability to carry out its foreign policy objectives through humanitarian and development assistance
Washington, DC (PRWEB) February 16, 2011
As the U.S. Congress votes this week on fiscal 2011 spending, the international Christian humanitarian organization World Vision calls on lawmakers to protect funding for life-saving and cost-effective development assistance programs. Disproportionately large cuts targeting America’s humanitarian assistance budget jeopardize the success of global development initiatives and undermine both U.S. global security and leadership.
Cuts proposed in the House of Representatives’ budget resolution include slashing U.S. food aid programs by 41 percent ($687 million), Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance funding by 67 percent ($875 million), development assistance by 30 percent ($747 million) and global health and childhood survival programs by 15 percent ($365 million), all from FY 2010 enacted levels, according to budget analyses.
“These cuts represent modest overall savings compared with other areas of the national budget and would cripple America’s ability to carry out its foreign policy objectives through humanitarian and development assistance,” said Adam Taylor, vice president of advocacy for World Vision in the U.S. “The U.S. has remained a clear global leader by maintaining a solid record of investment in efforts combating hunger, extreme poverty and illness.”
Responsible stewardship of America’s budget in the face of real fiscal challenges requires smart thinking and an honest assessment of the impact of global and domestic investments. Cost-effective programs that have demonstrated results and advance critical U.S. interests – such as the success of the PEPFAR program, which has significantly reduced AIDS-related deaths in hard-hit countries – should not be subject to some of the largest cuts.
“Gutting funding to programs that have enjoyed broad bi-partisan support and receive widespread constituent support would undercut America’s moral credibility and put lives at risk. Keeping commitments fosters global respect and goodwill,” said Taylor.
World Vision is a global organization with one million American donors, representing every state and congressional district. Our constituency demonstrates every year that a broad base of U.S. voters and taxpayers prioritize development, feeding the hungry and protecting vulnerable lives enough to provide support from their own pockets – which the U.S. government can leverage through its continued leadership.
“World Vision recognizes the need to make tough decisions addressing the present fiscal crisis, including budget cuts, but these should not fall disproportionately on the poorest of the poor,” said Robert Zachritz, government relations director for World Vision in the U.S. “Congress is considering an overall budget reduction of 8.8 percent from the FY 2011 presidential request, with cuts disproportionately made to the most cost-effective humanitarian programs saving children’s lives. One would think on the day after Valentine’s Day, Congress would have more of a heart.”
“World Vision is calling attention to this because 8 million children die needlessly every year before the age of five and can’t speak up for themselves. These children could be saved with low-cost interventions like malaria bed nets or child immunizations,” said Zachritz. “As World Vision works on the front lines of human needs in nearly 100 countries, we witness the positive impact these accounts make on the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people.”