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Cuts To U.S. Foreign Aid Programs Threaten Global Health, ‘America’s Prestige,’ National Security

Huffington Post: U.S. Budget Cuts for Aid Programs Are a False Economy
Thomas Kenyon, CEO of Project HOPE

“Quite simply, America is the linchpin of the system of global health development and humanitarian assistance. But the recent release of the White House’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget blueprint unveiled stark cuts to foreign aid which, if implemented, would risk endangering the health and well-being of millions of people around the world as well as our nation’s historic role as a lifeline to those in need. And since instability and deprivation are also threats to U.S. national security, it would be in America’s interest for Congress to mitigate the budget reductions for USAID and State Department programs, and to safeguard the U.S. government’s role in humanitarian assistance and development of life-saving health programs. The proposed budget cuts of about one third for State and USAID will put the lives of vulnerable people in peril, increase poverty, and undermine America’s prestige in the world. We should remember, for instance, that millions of people are alive today because of U.S.-provided antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS and five million children still draw breath owing to treatment funded by the U.S. taxpayer for diarrhea and pneumonia. Not only is this the right thing to do from a humanitarian perspective, but it provides an incalculable fund of goodwill towards the United States. … Aid programs should not just be seen as a giveaway but as a vital plank of any strategy to keep America safe…” (3/29).