Your Voice is Needed
Action Alert: Increase Funding Levels for International Affairs in the Senate Budget Resolution
Message: Please call your Senator on Monday, March 13, at 1-800-826-3688. Tell him/her that the Senate Budget Committee recommendation for International Affairs spending is not adequate to fight global hunger and poverty. Ask him/her to support amendments that increase the International Affairs budget, and oppose amendments that cut the International Affairs budget.
[Note: This special, toll-free number will go directly to the Capitol switchboard, where you will ask to be connected to your member’s office in order to leave your message.]
Background: The Senate Budget Committee has met and recommended the level of funding for the International Affairs Account, which is $2 billion below the President’s request. The Budget Committee’s recommendation would make it difficult to approve a $5 billion increase in poverty-focused development assistance. Senate members now have the opportunity to offer and vote on amendments that will increase or decrease the budget for International Affairs. It is vital that the International Affairs budget be as large as possible because this is part of the budget that includes those poverty-focused programs that we want to see increased by $5 billion this year.
Why are we asking for an additional $5 billion for poverty focused development assistance?
Currently the United States contributes less than one half of one percent (0.42%) of our federal budget for poverty-focused development assistance. We can do better than this.
- When the leaders of the world’s most powerful countries gathered last summer in Scotland, President Bush committed to double aid to Africa and globally by 2010. To meet this commitment and previous promises the president and Congress have made, poverty-focused development assistance would need to increase by $5 billion each year through 2010. But the president has only requested a $2 billion increase in such assistance for fiscal year 2007. Congress must do better.
- In 2000, 189 countries, including the United States, agreed to a set of eight specific goals for ending widespread hunger, poverty and disease in our world. In order to achieve these Millennium Development Goals, the U.S. share of the needed resources would be $25 billion by 2010. This means our government would need to increase poverty-focused development assistance by $5 billion in each year's budget from 2007 through 2010. Together with the increases gained for Fiscal Year 2006, the United States would come very close to the $25 billion goal.
- The additional $5 billion dollars isn’t just a matter of reaching goals and promises; these funds would go to time-tested, effective programs that save and enrich people’s lives. The funding would be directed through accounts, such as the Child Health and Survival Fund, Global HIV/AIDS Initiative, Millennium Challenge Account, African Development Foundation, Development Assistance, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, all of which provide urgently needed, effective assistance and resources for the world’s poorest people to be able to help themselves.
More than 850 million people suffer from chronic hunger and malnutrition. Nearly half the world’s population lives on less than $2 per day. Every day 30,000 children die from preventable causes, more than half of them related to hunger and malnutrition.
Your voice is needed. Study after study has documented that the most influential person with members of Congress is you, their constituent. Please call today.
Optimum Date to Complete Quickline: Monday, March 13
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