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CARE: Foreign Aid Cuts & Increases in US Budget

CARE Addresses Foreign Aid Cuts and Increases in President's Budget Proposal

ATLANTA (February 17, 2005) - In his recent budget request, President Bush has requested $22.8 billion for foreign operations — a $3.1 billion increase. CARE welcomes the increased resources for international operations — especially at a time of fiscal tightening. We also acknowledge the president’s continued commitment to invest in international assistance programs, particularly HIV/AIDS, refugee protection and post-conflict reconstruction.

Unfortunately, the president’s budget also proposes cuts in areas that have been the cornerstone of effective U.S. contributions to international development, such as the Child Survival and Health and Development Assistance accounts.

The new request for the Child Survival and Health account, for example, is $107 million below the amount currently appropriated. If enacted, this reduction will negatively affect programs that fight infectious diseases, promote child and maternal health and increase access to quality family planning services. The budget proposal would also reduce contributions to international organizations such as UNICEF, the U.N. Development Program and the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria, weakening programs that have improved the lives and futures of millions of people in developing countries.

“Over the past 50 years, there has been more progress in reducing poverty and improving health and education than at any other time in history,” says Barbara Larkin, CARE’s vice president for policy and advocacy. “The proposed cuts to vital humanitarian and development accounts could undermine these important gains and make it harder for the Unites States to exercise leadership in helping the world achieve the Millennium Development Goals.” These goals, which seek to cut extreme poverty and hunger in half by 2015, among other things, is the result of a shared, formal commitment of the international community

In a world that is ever more interdependent, foreign aid promotes greater stability and prosperity – both abroad and at home. As one of the largest humanitarian and development organizations in the world dedicated to fighting poverty and social injustice, CARE urges the U.S. government to fulfill the promises it has made and strengthen the efforts of the international community to eradicate poverty and enhance opportunities for positive change around the world.

© Scoop Media

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