News / Africa

CARE: US Budget Cuts Could Affect World’s Poor

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

As President Obama and the U.S. Congress consider major budget cuts to reduce the deficit, many aid organizations warn there could be severe consequences for the world’s poor.

Jodee Winterhof, vice president of policy and advocacy for CARE, is among those raising concerns about reductions in the International Affairs Budget.

“The International Affairs Budget, in general, is absolutely critical to fighting extreme poverty and hunger and helping at least a billion people around the world who are struggling to survive on less than a dollar a day,” she says.

She calls the proposed budget cuts “unprecedented,” adding that U.S. government spending has a direct effect on improving lives.

“What CARE has seen in these communities around the globe is that there have been advances and progress that we have made in these efforts.  And particularly in terms of thinking about how communities and families are more stable because of some of these investments.  And I think that is absolutely important,” she says.

To the extreme

“It’s hard to fathom in the United States when we talk about somebody living on less than a dollar a day,” she says, “There will be weeks on end across their year where they can’t find enough food or they can’t find enough nutritious food to sustain and support their families.”

This could result from no fault of their own, such as through droughts or floods destroying crops.  Or perhaps their small business fails in hard economic times.

The newly published 2012 budget documents on display at the U.S. Government Printing Office at Washington, February 10, 2011
The newly published 2012 budget documents on display at the U.S. Government Printing Office at Washington, February 10, 2011

“Right now, we’re on the verge of some price spikes with food around the globe.  So, these conversations about cutting programs that really do support and sustain families…is in my opinion a dangerous conversation to be having and really will pose some intense challenges,” says Winterhof.

This week, World Bank President Robert Zoellick warned about 44 million people have become impoverished since June due to higher food prices.  He said the cost of food is reaching “dangerous levels” and could contribute to unrest.

Moral leadership

In a statement about the proposed budget cuts, CARE says, “The U.S. government’s commitment to America’s moral leadership, national security and economic future around the globe is at stake.”

Winterhof says, “Really what CARE sees up close and personal is that we have been witness to profound differences that this has made and particularly in the lives of women and…children.”

She says over the past 50 years, U.S. efforts have helped bring a 50 percent reduction in child deaths.”  What’s more, she says, improving education has had profound effects on girls.

“For every year that they get beyond 4th grade, it means an increase in their wages that could be 10 to 20 percent,” she says.

Big bang for the buck

It’s estimated U.S. foreign aid is one percent or less of the federal budget.  Winterhof says she believes the average American is unaware that the percentage of U.S. foreign aid is so small compared with the overall budget.  She says it’s money well spent.

“Groups like CARE actually leverage partnerships from individual donations, from corporate donations and other donations around the country.  So, in essence, the money that the federal government puts forward leverages private dollars.  And I think that’s also important for the American public to know,” she says.

Generous Americans

Over a year ago, a powerful earthquake struck Haiti, killing hundreds of thousands of people.

“Millions of people in the United States gave money to that disaster.  So, there is willingness across this country to participate and to support people around the globe,” she says, “The American people are actually engaged on these issues.”

In its statement, CARE says it recognizes that Congress must “take a hard look at the most effective and efficient ways to leverage our foreign aid dollars.”  But it also calls on members of the House of Representatives “to reject these harmful and drastic cuts that jeopardize both our country’s global leadership as well as millions of the world’s most vulnerable people.”

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid