WASHINGTON, April 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. NGO alliance InterAction calls on Congress to pass the 2011 spending agreement today and work with the Obama administration to agree on a 2012 budget that invests in building a more stable and prosperous world.
InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international NGOs with more than 190 members, applauds the administration and lawmakers who strongly defended investments in international development and humanitarian programs in the negotiations over final FY2011 funding levels.
"Thanks to them, the worst of the harsh and damaging cuts to international affairs accounts proposed in H.R. 1 were avoided," said Samuel A. Worthington, president and CEO of InterAction.
"At the same time, we are mindful of the fact that American interests and values call on us to do better. Political turmoil and U.S. economic and strategic interests underscore that America needs to be more engaged in international affairs, not less," he said.
Lawmakers are set to vote on Thursday on the 2011 spending deal agreed at the last minute on Friday, narrowly averting a government shutdown.
U.S. military leaders and other experts on U.S. foreign policy have made solid arguments for an increase in development and humanitarian spending accounts. Yet, the U.S. is cutting back, or at best holding level with its 2011 spending bill. Notable cuts include:
- International emergency food aid will be cut 11 percent, ending feeding assistance programs for 4.3 million people around the world.
- The U.S. Agency for International Development's budget will be cut by 3 percent, making it harder for them to implement promised widespread reforms of the agency which Congress has been calling for.
- The Millennium Challenge Corporation, a development agency that rewards good governance, will be cut by 19 percent, which will likely force the delay of assistance packages negotiated with Zambia, Indonesia, or another country in the pipeline, undercutting the MCC's work and America's reputation.
"Even when viewed through the lens of this nation's fiscal health, excessive cuts to foreign assistance accounts will cost us more later as we tackle disease, hunger and other global scourges that could have been prevented or dealt with now," added Worthington.
InterAction is the largest alliance of U.S.-based nongovernmental international organizations with more than 190 members. Our members operate in every developing country, working with local communities to overcome poverty and suffering by helping to improve their quality of life. Visit www.interaction.org