Washington D.C., February 15, 2011
-- As the U.S. Congress votes today 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 jeopardizes the success of global development initiatives and undermines both U.S. global security and leadership.
Cuts proposed in the House of Representatives’ budget resolution include slashing U.S. food aid programs by 42 percent, and a devastating $784 million reduction to global health and childhood survival programs from FY 2010 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 thinking globally and investing in cost-effective programs that have demonstrated results – such as the success of the PEPFAR program which has vastly reduced AIDS-related deaths in hard-hit countries.
“Gutting the budgets of bi-partisan initiatives built with widespread constituent support would undercut America’s moral credibility. By contrast, keeping commitments when governments change leadership fosters global respect and goodwill,” said Taylor.
World Vision is a global organization with one million American donors, representing every state and congressional district, demonstrating that U.S. voters and taxpayers prioritize development, feeding the hungry and protecting vulnerable lives enough to provide support from their own pockets – the U.S. government can leverage this by continuing to provide considerable leadership.
“World Vision recognizes the need to make tough decisions addressing the present fiscal crisis, including budget cuts but it should not fall disproportionately on the poorest of the poor.” said Robert Zachritz, government relations director for World Vision U.S. “Congress is considering an overall budget reduction of 8.8% from FY 2011 Presidential request and overall cuts of around 20% to some of 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 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 frontlines of human needs in nearly 100 countries, World Vision witness' the positive impact these accounts make on the lives of the world’s most vulnerable.”World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. For more information, visit www.worldvision.org