As advocates for more effective foreign assistance, MFAN understands the critical role our aid programs have had in alleviating poverty, eradicating disease, and promoting opportunity for millions struggling in the developing world. We also understand that these programs, which make up just 1 percent of our budget, are investments for a more prosperous, secure world.
It’s encouraging to see that, when given the facts, most Americans agree.
Over the past year, the ONE Campaign went around the country interviewing everyday Americans to ask what they thought about foreign aid. As Meagan Bond, ONE’s creative manager writes, “I met small business owners struggling to stay afloat, stay-at-home moms, students, bankers, roofers, truck drivers, teachers, youth ministers, and a man staying at a local shelter while he looked for a new job.
The results of these interviews are captured in their new “Man on the Street” video series. In each of the different locations, the responses were overwhelmingly similar: they thought the U.S. spent too much on foreign aid, until they were given the facts. See one of the videos below:
What were the facts? ONE shared that foreign aid made up less than 1 percent of the U.S. budget and had helped to accomplish some pretty amazing things, including getting 8 million people on life-saving AIDS medication and helping more than 1 billion people through smarter agricultural programs.
Once given these facts, people quickly moved from being skeptical to supportive and even glad to hear that their tax dollars were helping to bring about such positive change.
ONE is asking people to share these videos far and wide to help educate Americans on the facts of foreign aid—and MFAN encourages you to do the same. When more people understand the small percent of the budget we spend on foreign aid—and the outsized impact these programs have—it will be easier to make the case for continued support and continued American leadership on foreign aid.