Notwithstanding austerity measures proposed by budget-conscious U.S. lawmakers, the White House on Feb. 14 unveiled plans to scale up funding for global health and food programs as well as continue “significant levels of funding” for development assistance to Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan as part of the Obama administration’s fiscal 2012 budget proposal.
>> Obama Unveils 2012 Budget Request; Foreign Aid Largely Spared from Cuts
Below are some of the reactions from members of the aid community on U.S. President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2012 budget request:
“The President’s budget request outlines the hard choices the US government needed to make in this tight financial climate. The good news is that for the first time in years, these tough decisions are being driven by a coherent US strategy for fighting global poverty, as outlined in the presidential policy for global development.” - Raymond C. Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America
“The budget clearly recognizes the important role that aid to poorer countries plays in advancing U.S. national security, noting the direct link between providing opportunities for people around the world and building stable societies. It also makes the connection between U.S. economic interests and economic growth around the world, noting that investments in developing countries’ economies are critical to creating markets for U.S. exports.” - Save the Children
“In these difficult budgetary times, it is more important than ever to ensure that American taxpayer dollars are being used efficiently … Our goal is not only to help poor countries rise out of poverty, but also to create stable trading and investment partners for the United States, which will strengthen the American economy and keep our nation more secure. MCC is committed to ensuring that American taxpayers are getting a strong return on their development investments, and this budget request shows the importance of that to this Administration.” Millennium Challenge Corp. Chief Executive Office Daniel Yohannes
“In a tough fiscal environment, the Obama administration has presented a responsible and sensible FY 2012 international assistance budget; one that will help save lives, create economic prosperity here and abroad, and reduce future deficits by preventing bigger security outlays in the future. The administration is also taking steps to ensure every dollar of international assistance is spent effectively and efficiently, an approach members of Congress have been urging for many years. Now that improvements are actually being made, the Hill has another reason to support President Obama’s budget request.” - InterAction President Samuel A. Worthington
“The USGLC (U.S. Global Leadership Coalition) applauds the Administration’s FY2012 International Affairs Budget request as a critical investment in America’s national security. At a time of intense pressures to cut spending and in the context of an overall freeze on non-security funding, the President has presented an International Affairs Budget that protects America’s security interests and maintains U.S. global leadership while also reflecting the need to be more efficient and responsible with every dollar spent.” - U.S. Global Leadership Coalition
Read more about U.S. development aid.