An update on the foreign affairs budget.

The Global Health Council has continued to promote advocacy to counter the proposed budget cuts to the International Affairs budget. In today’s e-mail blast, they highlighted some of the predicted outcomes from the proposed cuts to the budget, which include significant reductions in both the operating budget for USAID and their affiliate programs. From GHC:

The House is currently proposing a 9% cut to global health programs from current funding levels. These cuts will have drastic impact on people’s lives:

  • 345,559 orphans and vulnerable children will potentially lose their food, education, and livelihood assistance.
  • AIDS treatment will be eliminated for 332,216 people.
  • 3.8 million fewer people will be treated for malaria.
  • 37,292 fewer people with tuberculosis (TB).
  • 1.6 (1,623,165) million fewer children could receive oral rehydration salts that can help save many of the 1.2 million who die needlessly from diarrhea.
  • More than 900,000 (910,158) children could not be immunized against measles, tetanus, and pertussis.
  • Almost 3 million more unintended pregnancies will occur.
  • 9.4 million fewer women and couples would have access to receiving contraceptive services.

I know we all are numb to statistics, particularly with the information coming out of the Horn of Africa, but the US Agency for International Development, the State Department (through PEPFAR), and their contractors have done incredible work around the world to improve the health, livelihoods, and general welfare of individuals and populations around the world.  Consider the numbers above and the importance of developing markets abroad for US goods and services before advocating for cutting the (already paltry) foreign affairs budget.

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