It’s been reported that Congress will start voting today on a last-minute debt ceiling deal to reduce the U.S. deficit by at least $2.1 trillion over the next decade. The House must vote before the Senate and they don’t have a lot of time since the debt ceiling must be raised by Tuesday.
The exact cuts are still unknown, however, as a member of InterAction, we believe in their foreign assistance plan which will be put in front of the House on Wednesday.
Let’s break down some of the highlights of InterAction's funding recommendations for child survival and peace grants.
Global Health and Child Survival (both USAID and State): $5. 64 billion request
Purpose: Supports PEPFAR which combats HIV/AIDS through prevention, treatment and strengthening health systems as part of the administration’s overall Global Health Initiative.
Justification:
  • UNAIDS recently issued a report noting that the global annual rate of new cases of HIV dropped by 25 percent in the last decade.
  • AIDS-related deaths have dropped and about 6.6 million people in low-and middle-income countries that were receiving treatment at the end of 2010
  • HIV prevalence among young people (15-24) is declining.
  • As of the end of 2010 the Global Fund has provided, 3 million people with HIV/AIDS treatment, 7.7 million people with tuberculosis treatment, and disbursed 160 million insecticide-treated nets.
Contributions to International Peacekeeping Activities: $2.145 billion request
Purpose: Provides voluntary U.S. contributions to support UN peacekeeping missions.
Justifications:
  • U.S. stands and leverages with the contributions of other countries to cost-effectively further U.S. foreign policy objectives in volatile regions around the world.
  • UN peacekeeping missions work to support and implement the terms of ceasefires and peace agreement.
  • Build government capacity and protect people from genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.


P.L. 480 Title II Food for Peace Grants: $1.69 billion request
Purpose: The P.L. 480 Title food for Peace account provides for the donation of U.S. agriculture commodities to meet emergency and non-emergency food needs in other countries, reducing hunger and malnutrition and helping achieve food security. 

Justifications:


  • U.S. food assistance targets the world’s most vulnerable populations in times of urgent needs, whether provoked by natural disaster, conflict, or acute economic difficulties.
  • A mixture of cash- and commodity-based resources will ensure the U.S. has a flexible of emergency response options
  • Food assistance has played a critical role in southern Soudan over the last few years and has been key in supporting families returning home


McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition: $200.5 million request
Purpose: The McGovern-Dole account helps support education, child development, and food security for of the world’s poorest children. It provides for donations of U.S. agriculture products, as well as financial and technical assistance, for school feeding and maternal and child nutrition projects in low-income, food deficit countries that are committed to universal education.
Justification:
  • There are approximately 130 million school-age children in the world’s poorest countries who are undernourished and would be eligible for school feeding programs.
  • The US is currently able to reach approximately 5 million children a year with a school meal
  • School meals also help improve cognition and nutrition and act as a safety net by freeing up to 10 percent of a family’s income to be spent on other assets.


How do you feel about all of the recommendations listed above? If you want your voice to be heard, contact your local representatives.

Author

Maegan Clark

Maegan Clark loves social media even more than Southern sweet tea. She is currently pursuing her master’s in public administration and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a specialized study in public relations. Since working at Heifer, she has deepened her appreciation for the urgency with which we must end global hunger and poverty.