Right now, Congress is working on a budget that will fund U.S. foreign assistance for the next federal fiscal year. While development and humanitarian assistance make up much less than 1% of the federal budget, the President’s budget request slashed funding for programs that fight global poverty and help prevent humanitarian crises by over 40%. The Appropriations Committee in the House of Representatives has mostly rejected the President’s budget, including protecting immediate lifesaving aid, but unfortunately, cut funding to key accounts that build communities’ resilience to conflict, food insecurity and poverty. There is still time to protect investments in global development by urging your Members of Congress to support anti-poverty accounts in the FY18 appropriations process.
Today, over 65 million people are displaced and 20 million are at risk of starvation in four countries alone. Humanitarian needs are great, but we should not forgo development assistance. Poverty-focused accounts like Development Assistance and the Economic Support Fund are small investments in our future with great returns and help give families around the world a hand up out of poverty. Cuts to these accounts will mean that girls won’t have access to education, farmers won’t have access to improved technologies to improve their yields and families around the world won’t have access to safe and clean water.
You can help – demand that Congress stand up for development assistance within the foreign assistance budget. Congress must continue to fund the aid budget at last year’s funding level, especially programs that provide communities with the tools they need to break cycles of poverty and conflict.