Humanitarian NGOs concerned over proposed 9% cut to key poverty-focused accounts

(Washington, D.C.) April 25, 2012 — InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international NGOs, expressed grave concern over the deep 9 percent cut in the discretionary spending allocations for FY2013 foreign affairs programs passed today by the House Appropriations Committee.

As approved, the allocation for the State, Foreign Operations Subcommittee was $40.1 billion for base programs (non-war related, non-emergency) and $8.2 billion for “overseas contingency operations,” (OCO) for a total of $48.3 billion.  This amounts to an overall cut from the current fiscal year of about $5 billion (9 percent), and is $5 billion lower than the Senate Appropriations Committee allocation made last week.

“We recognize the tough fiscal environment and the need for restraint, but we are disappointed to see the House appropriations allocation for foreign affairs reduced to a level which curbs our ability to fight extreme poverty,” said Samuel A. Worthington, President and CEO of InterAction.  

“In particular, the House base allocation ($40.1 billion) for State-Foreign Operations is 19.5 percent lower than the Senate allocation for base programs ($49.8 billion).  We call on the House to follow the bi-partisan allocation agreement in the Senate and agree to move OCO funding back into the base budget in order to avoid harmful cuts to international programs this year and in the future.”

“InterAction members are working hard with local communities worldwide who are trying to lift themselves out of poverty and recover from natural disasters,” said Worthington. “At a time when the moral imperative and practical need for U.S. official civilian engagement around the world has never been stronger, this proposed cut takes us backwards, reducing base funding to below FY2010 levels.”

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Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is a member of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations, with more than 190 members. Our members operate in every developing country, working with local communities to overcome poverty and suffering by helping to improve their quality of life. Visit www.interaction.org

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