Many of my friends and neighbors are unaware that the U.S. International Affairs Budget is less than 1% of the total federal budget. And they don’t realize how much bang for the buck the U.S. gets from the programs that the 1% funds.
In 2002, only 50,000 people worldwide had access to lifesaving HIV/AIDS medicine.
American sponsored foreign assistance programs have played an enormous part in raising that number to 7.5 million people by this year, 2014. Malaria has been cut by 75% in eight African countries since 2000, and 51 million more children in sub-Saharan Africa are now attending primary school. American investment abroad through these programs is saving millions of lives, and in the process is opening up new markets for our goods and services.
Our congressman, Steve Israel, plays a huge role in this fight against worldwide poverty and disease prevention. Congressman Israel has acknowledged that the world looks to America for support, and I certainly agree. We are morally obliged to those less fortunate than us. And only through bipartisan action in our nation’s capital can we fulfill such an obligation.
Americans will certainly benefit from our representatives’ triumph in coming together and passing a timely federal budget, as will the international community. I mention the international community because the FY2014 budget bill allows for the continuation of the international affairs budget. American financial support abroad, through foreign assistance programs, has economic and strategic advantages that will ameliorate the world for years to come.