WASHINGTON (May 23, 2017) – The global poverty-fighting organization CARE today denounced the Trump Administration’s proposed budget for the coming year, which would slash funding for critical foreign assistance programs and jeopardize millions of lives around the globe. This proposal represents a retreat from America’s leadership in the world and threatens our country’s ability to safeguard against the desperation and instability often caused by extreme poverty and suffering.
“This proposal is not about making programs more effective or rooting out inefficiencies,” said Michelle Nunn, president and CEO of CARE. “It’s not reform – it’s a wrecking ball. If enacted these cuts would result in the wholesale dismantling of America’s humanitarian and development work, increase suffering and make the world a more dangerous place.”
Specifically, the budget proposal calls for the elimination of the leading U.S. food aid program, which helps prevent hunger around the world. It also proposes a 43 percent cut to international disaster assistance, just as famine conditions are simultaneously threatening 20 million people in South Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria and Somalia. While the budget continues to fund the Office of Global Women’s issues, it proposes to defund family planning in global health programs, which prevented 11,000 maternal deaths last year alone. The proposal also calls for cutting overall development funding by roughly half, jeopardizing the ability of millions of people to pull themselves out of poverty.
Since 1977, increased funding to the Department of Defense has generally been complemented by increased support for the International Affairs account. Past administrations, Republican and Democratic alike, have understood that development and diplomacy are critical parts of our national security strategy. If accepted, the administration’s proposed cuts to this critical 1 percent of the budget would be historic, making us less safe, not more.
In response to these proposed cuts, CARE has launched the #DontCutLives campaign – calling on members of Congress to oppose any disproportionate cuts to foreign assistance.
CARE applauds Congress for passing the final FY17 spending bill last month demonstrating their bipartisan commitment to foreign assistance programs. CARE urges Congress to conduct deep oversight over any proposed cuts and to develop a budget for the coming year that protects lives, supports our national security and maintains our nation’s leadership in the world.
Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. Last year, CARE worked in 94 countries and reached more than 80 million people around the world. To learn more, please visit www.care.org.