WASHINGTON—CARE USA Chief Operating Officer, Heather Higginbottom, told a congressional committee today that “continued American engagement in diplomacy and development is essential in building a future worth having for ourselves, our children, and our neighbors around the world.”
Higginbottom, who served previously as US Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, told lawmakers that foreign assistance has always enjoyed bipartisan support and safeguards American interests.
“History tells us, we a pay a little now, or we pay a lot later,” she said. “In today’s interconnected world…we should be doubling down on, not weakening, effective, modern, and innovative implementation of diplomacy and development.”
In testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Higginbottom explained that US global leadership has helped cut in half the number of people worldwide living in extreme poverty and slashed in half the number of women who die each year during pregnancy and children dying before their fifth birthday.
But she warned that the current administration is likely to try to cut, or eliminate, vital life-saving programs.
“Despite the clear and well-documented results [of US foreign assistance], the President’s budgets for fiscal years ’18 and ‘19 – and we fear once again for fiscal year ‘20 – have proposed slashing foreign assistance by 30 percent, cutting to the bone and even amputating programs that provide emergency food aid, alongside dramatic cuts to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, PEPFAR, and efforts that build resilience, like Feed the Future.”
“We are grateful that Congress has rejected these cuts,” she said, but noted that the uncertainty regarding funding has already done a great deal of damage.
Read Higginbottom’s full testimony.
Ari Goldberg, 240-678-9102 firstname.lastname@example.org