MFAN Principals Comment on Cuts to Foreign Aid

Andrea Stone, senior Washington correspondent at AOL News, makes a forceful case to not cut foreign assistance, quoting three MFAN Principals in a new story. She argues that while foreign aid has always been a GOP target, it faces more pressure this year because of the looming deficit and recent crisis in Egypt. MFAN Principals Sam Worthington, president of InterAction, John Norris, executive director of the Sustainable Security and Peacebuilding Initiative at the Center for American Progress, and Noam Unger, policy director of the Foreign Assistance Reform project at the Brookings Institution all speak to the important role US foreign assistance plays in laying the foundation for peace and security worldwide. Stone also references this op-ed featuring MFAN Co-Chair Jim Kolbe, MFAN Principal Rob Mosbacher and Mark Green. Read the full article here and see excerpts below:

“If that 1 percent was gone, the only face America would be putting to the world is one of helmets and boots on the ground,” said Sam Worthington, who heads InterAction, a coalition of U.S.-based relief groups that includes CARE and the International Rescue Committee. “It would deeply impact our image in the world and our ability to relate to other peoples.”

Yet before the abuses of the 1950s and ’60s, there was the Marshall Plan that helped rebuild Europe after World War II. As John Norris, who heads the Sustainable Security and Peacebuilding Initiative at the Center for American Progress, notes, it was fiercely opposed by Paul’s ideological forbears, who also saw it as a waste of tax dollars.

“It’s always been a popular measure with Congress in that it plays to the bleachers,” Norris said.

Noam Unger, policy director of the Foreign Assistance Reform project at the Brookings Institution, agrees that the foreign aid program should be improved: “When we use foreign aid for rapid response to political crises, we often get it wrong.”

But he said foreign aid “provides the best impact when it is used as a strategic long-term investment in sound governance and the economic well-being of people around the world and when it leverages action by other aid donors and the private sector.”

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