MFAN Principals Norris and Veillette Offer Five Steps to Save $2 Billion

In a new policy brief released last week, John Norris, executive director of the Sustainable Security and Peacebuilding Initiative at the Center for American Progress, and Connie Veillette, director of the Rethinking U.S. Foreign Assistance program at the Center for Global Development, offer five steps to make U.S. foreign assistance more effective—saving $500 million annually by eliminating unnecessary regulations, with additional savings through the reform of earmarks related to foreign assistance programs.

The five steps to eliminating waste and making our foreign assistance more effective include:

  • Ending cargo preference for U.S. food aid;
  • Eliminating monetized food aid;
  • Cutting U.S. agricultural subsidies;
  • Removing limitations on local and regional procurement of food aid; and
  • Eliminating all earmarks on foreign aid accounts.

After detailing why each of these steps will improve U.S. development efforts, Norris and Veillette argue it will take “genuine political will” to adopt these cost-cutting measures but is far worse than the alternative. They close: “At a time when we are making incredibly difficult budget choices in international affairs, why should Congress choose to cut bone when such obvious fat is available to be trimmed?”

Click to read the full report and download a pdf version. Do you agree with the five steps they offer? What other measures would you include to save money and make U.S. foreign assistance more effective?


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