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Tell Congress

It’s time to reduce the federal deficit, but not by cutting


programs for hungry and poor people around the world.

April 2011

Less than 1 percent of our federal budget goes to foreign assistance programs that help hungry and poor people.
This small investment pays big dividends:
• Feeds 5 million children each year;
• Cares for more than 10.1 million people affected by HIV/AIDS
worldwide, including more than 4 million orphans and vulnerable
children;
• Provides vaccines that save 3 million lives each year;
• Reached 750 million people with clean water and sanitation;
• Contributed, through democracy and nation-building programs, to
a significant increase in the number of democratic countries: 115 in
1995 compared to 58 in 1980.
Yet in February 2011, the House of Representatives passed H.R.1—a bill
that would cut foreign assistance by a whopping 19 percent just between
now and September 30, 2011. All of these programs are at risk.
We must work to reduce the deficit, but everything must be on the
table—defense spending, mandatory spending, and revenue increases—not
simply cuts to programs like those that reduce global poverty. Poverty-
focused foreign assistance makes up less than 1 percent of the entire U.S.
budget. Cuts here will cost lives, add to instability, and carry long-term
consequences for America’s image and leadership role in the world.

A stable world is a safer world for the United States.


• The likelihood of violent conflict or war within the next year in a

Kendra Rinas
developing country increases by 10 percent for every 5 percent drop
in income growth. International development programs are cheaper
and cost fewer American lives than wars.
• Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently said that if we don’t support both the State Department and the U.S. Agency for
International Development, “all we have gained in [Afghanistan and Iraq] is potentially at risk.”
• Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently said that foreign assistance should be “focused on hunger, disease, climate
change, and humanitarian emergencies, because these challenges not only threaten the security of individuals [but are] the
seeds of future conflicts.”

Tell your members of Congress that we must work to reduce the deficit, but everything—on both the spending side and the
revenue side—must be on the table. We must create a circle of protection around funding for assistance focused on reducing
global poverty.

Bread for the World (www.bread.org) is a collective Christian voice


urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.