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Global Progress Threatened by Aid Cuts


April 4, 2012 - WASHINGTON, DC

New figures released today from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that major donors' aid to developing countries has fallen for the first time in 10 years, threatening the progress that has been made over the past several decades in the fight against poverty. The numbers reflect a 2.7% decrease in official development assistance in 2011, while assistance from the U.S. fell by 0.9%.

This deduction has been made despite clear evidence that aid assistance has had a dramatic impact in the last 20 years, with chronic malnutrition rates decreasing by 13% and a 34% reduction in maternal deaths since 1980. According to the humanitarian aid agency Save the Children, U.S. leadership on the HIV/AIDS pandemic has also resulted in a significant increase in the number of people receiving antiretroviral medication, from 300,000 in 2002 to more than 6.6 million in 2010.

"As the world's largest donor, the United States must continue to lead the international community in fighting poverty and supporting children around the world," said Carolyn Miles, Save the Children President & CEO. "Even in tough economic times, we must invest in the health, education and potential of children everywhere. These children will be our healthcare workers, teachers, and global leaders of tomorrow. We must sustain the progress we have made over the past decades -- not undermine it by cutting foreign assistance."

As Congress considers spending levels for fiscal year 2013, Save the Children encourages robust funding for poverty- and humanitarian-focused international development accounts. This funding represents less than 1% of the overall federal budget, yet has the power to transform lives and communities. "We can't balance the budget by denying food and education to the poorest children in the world," said Miles.

Save the Children is the leading, independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Wendy Christian
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