World Vision emphasizes the value of foreign assistance, urges Congress to reject cuts to budget

  • World Vision U.S. President Richard Stearns issued a statement in response to the proposed cuts to international foreign assistance

World Vision U.S. President Richard Stearns issued the following statement in response to the proposed cuts to international foreign assistance in the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 18 budget outline to Congress.

“For more than 50 years, World Vision has worked alongside U.S. government partners to address the needs of vulnerable children and families living in poverty around the world. While World Vision proudly raises millions of dollars from the American people each year, government funding enables us to expand our programs and increase their sustainability.

“The impact of U.S. foreign assistance is significant. I have seen the gratitude in a mother’s face when she knows her child will survive to age 5. I’ve seen the pride of youth who have the chance to embrace education, giving them hope for their future and sparing them from the lure of extremism. I’ve watched the transformation of communities as farmers harness the tools to produce better crops and entrepreneurs use microloans to start businesses and create jobs. This is all the result of American generosity.

“Foreign assistance is the right thing for the U.S. to do because it saves lives, reflecting our country’s regard for life and human potential. But it’s also a smart thing to do, in the best interests of our country. It helps us make friends, invest in trading partners, and promote stability around the world. And it’s cheap – less than 1 percent of the federal budget.

“But the gains in human development as well as the international reputation and security of the United States are at stake under the President’s proposed budget for FY18. The consequences of cutting foreign assistance are likely to be loss of life as well as missed opportunities for promoting a better, safer world. We risk losing the hard-won progress against poverty, wasting billions of dollars and decades of effort.

“We appreciate that the President wishes to run a fiscally responsible government. But cutting such a small part of the federal budget – especially at a time when the world is so unstable and volatile – seems penny wise and pound foolish. World Vision urges Congress to reject these broad and short-sighted cuts and to work with the international community on a foreign assistance budget that includes smart, strategic, and effective investments.”