Earlier today, MFAN Principal George Ingram was interviewed on NPR to discuss the$8 billion in budget cuts to foreign aid programs—the result of a deal made to fund the government through the remainder of FY11. Ingram noted how frustrating it is to see cuts to programs that only make up 1 percent of the budget. Talking about the long-term benefits of U.S. assistance, Ingram said “We either incur a small investment now or a gigantic investment down the road as we’ve had to do in Afghanistan.” Ingram also cited the administration’s efforts to reform foreign assistance, focusing on greater accountability, monitoring and evaluation, and building technical capacity at USAID.
Click here to listen to the segment.
Aside from the airwaves, two members of MFAN Partner the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition published an op-ed on FoxNews.com about the importance and national security impact of the International Affairs budget. Dan Glickman and Mark Green—both former congressmen—recognize the dire fiscal situation, but argue that foreign assistance programs enhance global security and promote economic growth in the U.S. and in the developing world. Read the full piece here and see excerpts below:
“As former Members of Congress, we know our colleagues face tough choices as they fight to get our massive deficit under control. We believe strongly that we must restore fiscal sanity and balanced budgets to Washington. One thing we can’t do, though, is sacrifice our national security and economic prosperity. That’s why, despite being from different political parties, we both agree a strong and effective International Affairs Budget is a wise investment, even in lean budgetary times.”
“During these difficult fiscal times, it’s obviously imperative International Affairs programs, like every other part of our government, are accountable, transparent and results-driven. The good news is that diplomacy and development leaders have been taking concrete steps in that direction for the last several years. These reforms must move forward, but if we fail to invest, they could stop short, wedding us to the old flawed ways of doing business.”