MFAN Co-Chairs: Effective Development is in our National Interest


Today, MFAN Co-Chairs David Beckmann, George Ingram, and Jim Kolbe published an op-ed in Roll Call in which they call on Congress and the Obama administration to build on the bipartisan efforts over the past decade and see foreign assistance reform through. They offer six recommendations for how policymakers can push reform forward—more detail of which can be found in MFAN’s new policy agenda. Read the full piece here and see excerpts below:

“Recent budget battles in Congress have made it seem as though we have to choose between continuing or abandoning this leadership because of America’s real and pressing deficit issues. But the facts tell a somewhat different story. We spend a little over 1 percent of the federal budget on foreign assistance and far less than that on programs that are focused on promoting sustainable development and reducing global poverty. Drastically reducing or even eliminating this money would have little effect on our deficit, but it would undermine the significant political and economic progress that has been made in the developing world — progress that reduces our vulnerability to threats that know no borders.”

“The bipartisan commitment to development has strengthened over the past decade, with policymakers coalescing around the idea that common-sense reforms can make U.S. foreign assistance even more effective. The reforms have driven results that can be measured in the millions of lives saved and enhanced.”

“Instead of arbitrarily slashing effective development assistance programs, lawmakers should work together across the aisle to maintain the positive reform trend of the past decade. At a time of huge global challenges that defy short-sighted solutions, we must make sure we are using our foreign assistance programs to drive the best results possible for the people we are trying to help and the taxpayers who support these efforts.”

 

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