PSI: 'Mistake' to balance US budget on 1 percent of foreign aid

The United States may be the world’s top national donor, but foreign aid expenditure still barely accounts for 1 percent of the federal budget.

“It’s a tiny, tiny sliver,” Karl Hoffman, president and CEO of Population Services International, told Devex at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York.

The risk, he explained is that the current power struggles in Washington, D.C. will somehow end up with this area of the budget — which includes all USAID activities — “having to bear more than its fair share of the cuts.”

“That would be a mistake,” stressed the PSI chief executive. “We all understand that the American fiscal situation is unsustainable right now, but let’s not try and balance the budget on the back of 1 percent.”

Hoffman added that this area of the federal budget actually “does tremendous good for the american people” because it enables the U.S. to prevent problems by investing in global development.

“American military leaders see the value in development so it doesn’t have to solve the problems with american soldiers.”

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    Carlos Santamaria

    As associate editor for breaking news, Carlos Santamaria supervises Devex's Manila-based news team and the creation of our daily newsletter. Carlos joined Devex after a decade working for international wire services Reuters, AP, Xinhua, EFE and Philippine social news network Rappler in Madrid, Beijing, Manila, New York and Bangkok. During that time, he also covered natural disasters on the ground in Myanmar and Japan.