Why Congress Shouldn't Slash Foreign Aid

By Jim Kolbe (The German Marshall Fund of the United States)

The president, with support from Congress, has worked to change our development model by creating programs like the Global Health Initiative and crafting the first U.S. development policy, which focuses on economic growth, accountability, and selectivity, in order to create the conditions where foreign assistance is no longer needed. These advances in U.S. foreign assistance were built on the legacy of former President George W. Bush’s creation of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Millennium Challenge Corporation. In the last Congress, bipartisan members supported foreign assistance reform legislation in both the House and Senate. USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah announced earlier this year that the agency is moving to save money and increase accountability across the globe.

We can’t afford to take a step back on these efforts, not at a time of unprecedented global instability that requires the strongest and most effective foreign policy we can muster. Our ability to take advantage of opportunities hinges on our willingness to invest in diplomacy and development and take steps to make these civilian tools of U.S. foreign policy more effective and accountable.

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