Tanya Weinberg 202.640.6647 (W), 202.247.6610 (M)
WESTPORT, Conn. (July 28, 2011) — Save the Children is deeply concerned about the depth and breadth of cuts to poverty-focused foreign assistance moving forward in the House of Representatives. The foreign assistance funding in question amounts to only about one percent of the total federal budget. These cuts would have virtually no impact on the deficit, but would have a devastating impact on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable children.
“Especially with a food crisis ravaging the Horn of Africa, now is not the time for deep, disproportionate cuts to humanitarian and development programs — the costs of which can be measured in children’s lives,” said Carolyn Miles, President and CEO Elect of Save the Children.
“The United States has a long history as a global leader delivering lifesaving programs for mothers, infants and children, but these cuts threaten the lives and livelihoods of millions,” Miles added.
Save the Children understands the pressing need for the United States to reduce the national debt, but these cuts are short-sighted and will not make a meaningful impact on the debt or deficit, the agency said.
“In poll after poll, Americans continue to say that they care deeply about children in poor countries going to bed hungry, not going to school, and dealing with the effects of AIDS and other health issues,” said Miles.
Rather than address these concerns, the proposed cuts would increase childhood malnutrition, reduce the number of girls receiving a quality education, and decrease the number of community health workers providing lifesaving care to mothers, newborns and children.
Save the Children is particularly concerned about the proposed 13 percent cut to global education funding, 12 percent cut to international disaster assistance, 20 percent cut to development assistance, 36 percent cut to emergency refugee and migration assistance,31 percent cut to the Food for Peace program; and the 9 percent cut to global health. On top of this, the 27 percent proposed cut to operating expenses for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) would roll back recent progress to increase the effectiveness of all U.S. development. It would also hurt efforts to ensure the accountability and transparency of our foreign aid dollars.
Next week the full House of Representatives Appropriations Committee is scheduled to vote on the cuts passed this week by the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee. Save the Children urges the full committee to restore funding to these vital programs.
Save the Children is the leading, independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.