U.S. President Barack Obama Wednesday asked Congress to approve some 52 billion dollars in foreign aid and international spending in 2014, slightly higher than the current year’s budget which was cut due to the partisan impasse over how to reduce the yawning federal deficit.
A U.S.-based civil society coalition is calling on Congress and President Barack Obama’s administration to keep spending on global health aid at current levels, warning that recent budget cuts risk a dangerous backslide in health and development gains achieved over the past three decades.
Since the 2008 financial crisis, and most recently with the broad federal spending cuts beginning Mar. 1, experts have warned that an austerity-minded political system could bring about dramatic changes in the U.S. foreign aid model.
Public health workers, activists and policymakers are stepping up a last-minute campaign to highlight the global health impact of historic, sweeping cuts to the U.S. federal budget due to go into effect Friday if Congress doesn’t act.
With just a week to go before massive, indiscriminate spending cuts kick in across the U.S. government, policymakers and humanitarian groups are becoming increasingly anxious about the enduring impact the cuts would have on the communities across the globe assisted by U.S.-funded development and aid programmes.