Friday, April 15, 2011

Funding For Fighting Poverty Is Preserved!!

Those who were worried about the House of Representatives' decision to cut aid money can finally relax now as last night the Senate preserved all funding for fighting global poverty. The Senate passed the 2011 US budget compromise by a margin of 81-19 votes which came just hours after the House passed it 260-167. Fortunately, the budget preserves almost all key funding for various programs fighting poverty in the developing world. Here’s a breakdown of what these programs finally ended up with in the FY11 budget:

# The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria– no cut, funded at $1.05 billion

# The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) — no cut, funded at $4.6 billion

# Feed the Future Initiative (agriculture) (bilateral) — no cut, funded at about $813 million

# Feed the Future Initiative (agriculture) (multilateral) — received $100 million appropriation for the first time

# Development Assistance — no cut, at FY10 level of $2.5 billion (contains ag, ed, microfinance, water, etc)

# GAVI – hard to determine, but most likely to be flat at $78 million, perhaps better

# World Bank IDA — no cut, at $1.235 billion

The ONE Campaign has been advocating for months to preserve the abovementioned key programs at current funding. They delivered a petition of over 150,000 signatures, made over 16,000 calls to members of Congress, and arranged hundreds of in-district meetings. Those who did not sign the petition or make the call do not need to feel left out. We'll need you again next year to step up and save millions of lives in the developing world for 2012 budget fight.

For now, I am just glad I signed the petition!

-Nisha Noor