Global Laser Talk March 2011

Cuts to Foreign Aid

Most Americans think we spend around 25 percent of the federal budget on foreign aid, making it a good target for deficit-reducing cuts. However, we actually spend less than 1 percent on poverty-focused foreign aid. Cuts to foreign aid won’t reduce the deficit and lives will be lost.

The House-passed spending bill includes a $450 million cut to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. If this isn’t reversed, 414,000 people will not receive AIDS medication, 372,000 people will not be tested or treated for tuberculosis, and 58,000 HIV-positive pregnant women will not receive drugs to prevent the transmission of the virus to their children.

The Senate must now step in and stop these deadly, nonsensical cuts. Development assistance strengthens all of us. Through lives saved, healthier people, and improved access to education, developing countries grow stronger. As developing economies grow stronger, the global marketplace also reaps benefits.

Our city must engage with this issue, and an editorial from our local news outlet would be an ideal way to help make that happen. Would you be willing to write an editorial on the issue of saving foreign assistance? I have an editorial packet and other materials that I can easily send you.