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Deep cuts adopted by House appropriators threaten progress on poverty-focused international development

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Washington, DC (July 17, 2013) — The House Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations on Friday voted for only $40.6 billion in funding for fiscal year 2014, effectively gutting spending for key international programs that seek to help people lift themselves out of extreme poverty. The cuts spelled out in the 2014 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Act are so severe they could roll back significant gains if adopted by the full Congress, NGO alliance InterAction warned.

“While we know the subcommittee had to work within an untenable budget allocation from House leadership, the severity of the proposed cuts to programs that focus on the world’s poor is deeply troubling. These are not just numbers – these are families living in some of the most difficult conditions in the world, whose lives have been transformed and improved through programs supported by the American people,” said Samuel A. Worthington, president and CEO of InterAction.

The cuts for fiscal year 2014 adopted by the House Appropriations subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations include:

  • Only $2 billion for Development Assistance, a 26 percent cut below fiscal year 2013 funding levels. This account is the bedrock of U.S. global leadership in education, clean water, food security and agriculture, sustainability, economic development, good governance and democracy.
  • Total funding for multilateral assistance dropped from $3 billion to $1.2 billion, a 61 percent cut.
  • A 22 percent cut in funding for the Millennium Challenge Corporation to $702 million from $898 million.

House leadership earlier set a $40.6 billion cap for the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, an amount that falls 22 percent below last year’s historically-low post-sequestration spending levels and the president’s budget request. The U.S. Senate is expected to mark up its version of the bill next week.

“It is part of our national identity to help people get a fair shot at building better lives for themselves and their children. These cuts do not reflect our values as Americans. They will undermine existing investments we have made in reducing extreme poverty, which help create shared prosperity and enhance our own security,” Worthington said. “I look forward to working with congressional leaders to ensure that these cuts are not adopted in the final appropriations for fiscal year 2014.”

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About InterAction
InterAction is the largest alliance of U.S.-based nongovernmental international organizations, with more than 190 members. Our members operate in every developing country, working with local communities to overcome poverty and suffering by helping to improve their quality of life. Visit www.interaction.org.

About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews.