CARE Denounces Plan for Unprecedented Cuts to FY17 Budget as Famine Looms in Four Countries

CARE Denounces Plan for Unprecedented Cuts to FY17 Budget as Famine Looms in Four Countries

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WASHINGTON (March 28, 2017) – CARE today denounced the Trump Administration's proposal to cut current-year funding to foreign assistance programs that save millions of lives and support our national security. Specifically, the proposal would cut life-saving food assistance this year by 21 percent as more than 20 million people face famine conditions in South Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria and Somalia, where insecurity and instability continue to rise.

“This is like turning off fire hydrants during a four-alarm fire,” said Michelle Nunn, president and CEO of CARE.  “With famine conditions tightening their grip in four separate countries, America should be increasing food aid, not slashing it. Not since CARE's founding 70 years ago have we seen this level of need.”

If adopted, this and other proposed cuts to global health and development assistance programs would result in millions of people losing access to resources and tools that help them pull themselves out of poverty – in the short and long-term. “This is an unprecedented move by an administration to cut critical funding at a time when it's needed most,” Nunn said. “CARE is urging the Trump Administration to reconsider the message we are sending to those in need around the world. America does not retreat from challenges, we lead – our history shows that our humanitarian initiatives have saved millions of lives and made the world safer for everyone. 

Foreign assistance represents less than 1 percent of the federal budget, yet it benefits our own national security, saves millions of lives every year and addresses the root causes of poverty, which creates a more stable and prosperous world for everyone. We must stand up to these proposed cuts and urge the Trump Administration to rethink this damaging proposal. These critical foreign assistance programs must be protected in the FY17 and FY18 budgets.

In South Sudan, CARE has reached over 350,000 people since the conflict began in 2013, including emergency nutrition support to malnourished children in Unity State, where a famine has been officially declared. In Somalia, CARE has helped nearly 260,000 people, with a special focus on the protection of women and girls, clean water and nutrition. And, in Yemen, CARE has reached 1.3 million people with food distribution and cash assistance so families can purchase food that meet their needs, while also providing clean water and helping improve hygiene. These are just some examples of the kind of life-saving assistance that would be put in jeopardy with the proposed cuts.

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

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Photo credit: Georgina Goodwin/CARE