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As International Affairs Budget Faces Cuts, Development Community Must Fight For Aid

In the wake of the agreement to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, and “[w]ith 20 percent cuts already on the table, the international affairs budget is in for a tough fight throughout the fall,” Richard Parker, director of communications for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, writes in a post on Devex’s “Obama’s Foreign Aid Reform” blog, stating, “It is more critical than ever for the development community to demonstrate how strategic and effective its programs are for U.S. national security, for our own economy, and as a demonstration of our leadership in the world.”   

“Bearing the brunt of cuts in the current House bill are State and USAID operations and multilateral and development assistance, where the reductions range between 16 percent and 35 percent below current-year funding levels,” Parker writes. “The largest component of the international affairs budget not included in the State-foreign operations appropriations bill – international food aid – is cut over 30 percent in the fiscal 2012 agriculture appropriations bill, which passed the House in June. All this is at a time when we are seeing a devastating drought and famine in the Horn of Africa,” he notes (8/11).