FY14 Budget Request Has Mixed Implications For Foreign Aid, Humanitarian Programs

Writing in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog, Jeremy Kadden, senior legislative manager at InterAction, examines the potential implications of the Obama administration’s budget request for U.S. foreign aid. He states that “[d]igging in to the details of the budget plan” there is “mixed news,” and provides figures from the request. “Health and development accounts would receive a boost under the president’s plan, but there are serious concerns that the humanitarian accounts may be receiving steep cuts,” he writes, adding, “As a result, there are concerns that the president’s funding levels may not be adequate to meet global needs, especially as the world faces ongoing crises in places such as Syria and Mali.” He continues, “On the positive side, the president’s recommendations for health and development accounts are mostly higher than previous enacted levels as well as the post-sequestration levels for FY13.” Kadden concludes, “Now … it is up to Congress to hash out where spending will fall. In doing so, they must remember that poverty-focused development and humanitarian accounts make up less than one percent of the U.S. budget. Cutting these programs will not address the deficit, but supporting them is a wise investment and makes a real difference for people around the world working to improve their lives” (4/10).