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AHA Signs Coalition Letter Asking Congress to Support International Affairs Budget

Below is the text of a coalition letter sent to members of the U.S. House and Senate by InterAction. The AHA is one of 166 signatories.

A copy of the letter, including organization logos, sent to senators can be found here.

A copy of the letter, including organization logos, sent to representatives can be found here.



September 11, 2012

As organizations working to end poverty and respond to emergencies around the world, we write to strongly urge you to support the Senate’s fiscal year 2013 overall funding level for the International Affairs Budget in order to protect its poverty-focused accounts throughout all upcoming budget negotiations, including negotiations to avert or delay the sequester.

The budget decisions facing you in the months ahead are daunting and are of tremendous importance for millions of lives around the world and the future of the United States’ security and economic prosperity. There is no doubt that our nation’s fiscal house must be put in order, but it must be done thoughtfully and comprehensively, while ensuring a bright and secure future for the U.S.

This year has witnessed historic events—from the Syrian uprising, to democratic elections in Egypt, to food crises of major proportions in both the Horn of Africa and the Sahel. These events demonstrate in stark terms the dynamic nature of the world around us and the need for strong and effective diplomatic and development tools. The Senate’s funding levels for the International Affairs Budget and its poverty-focused accounts, forged under the bipartisan leadership of Senators Patrick Leahy and Lindsey Graham, recognize current fiscal limitations while enabling continued investments that save lives, increase our national security, and spur economic development both at home and around the world.

Additional cuts to the International Affairs Budget – on top of the 15% budget reductions imposed over the last two years – are not the answer. At only 1.4% of the federal budget, cuts to the International Affairs Budget will not address our deficit, and they will risk lives and contribute to further destabilization of volatile regions critical to U.S. interests. The effects of sequestration or any other cuts to poverty-focused accounts could indiscriminately cost lives, put the U.S. on the sidelines in influencing rapidly transforming regions of the world, and signal a dramatic decline of U.S. leadership in promoting a more stable and prosperous world.

The outcomes of deficit reduction negotiations provide an opportunity for you to ensure that U.S. leadership remains strong. We cannot betray our nation’s longstanding moral leadership by scaling back humanitarian assistance as food crises endanger millions of lives. We cannot afford to curtail critical programs that expand markets for U.S. products and help create American jobs. We cannot turn our backs on the millions of people seeking to democratically choose their own leaders and government institutions. And we simply cannot risk the prospect of future, expensive military action by ignoring problems that can be addressed today.

As you work towards larger deficit reduction and finalize the budget for fiscal year 2013, we urge you to demonstrate bold leadership by stopping sequestration and supporting the Senate’s funding levels for the International Affairs Budget in order to protect its poverty-focused accounts. We simply cannot afford further deep cuts that put lives and America’s moral and strategic interests at risk.

Thank you for your consideration.

1. 1,000 Days Action Network
2. 3P Human Security
4. ACT V: The End of AIDS
5. Action Against Hunger
6. ActionAid USA
7. Adeso, African Development Solutions
8. Adventist Development and Relief Agency International (ADRA)
9. Advocates for Youth
10. African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF)
11. African Methodist Episcopal Church Service and Development Agency (AMESADA)
12. Africare
13. Algad League for Woman and Child Care
14. All Hands Volunteers
15. Alliance for Peacebuilding
16. Alliance to End Hunger
17. American Friends Service Committee
18. American Humanist Association
19. American Jewish World Service
20. American Near East Refugee Aid
21. American Red Cross International Services
22. American Refugee Committee
23. American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
25. Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD)
26. Baptist World Aid
27. Basic Education Coalition
28. Better World Campaign
29. Bread for the World
30. Brother's Brother Foundation
31. Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation
33. CBM-US
34. Center for Environment and Population (CEP)
35. Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE)
36. CHF International
37. ChildFund International
38. Christian Connections for International Health
39. Church World Service
40. Concern America
41. Concern Worldwide
42. Conference of Major Superiors of Men
43. Congressional Hunger Center
44. Counterpart International
45. Creative Associates International
46. Creative Learning
47. Dexis Consulting Group
48. Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund
49. EDC
50. Ethiopian Community Development Council, Inc.
51. Feminist Majority
52. Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
53. Friends of UNFPA
54. Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases
55. Global Washington
56. Global Women's Water Intiative (a program of Crabgrass)
57. GlobalSolutions Action Network
58. GrainPro, Inc.
59. Health Education Program For Developing Countries
60. HelpAge USA
61. HIAS
62. IMA World Health
63. INMED Partnerships for Children
64. InsideNGO
65. Institute for Sustainable Communities
66. InterAction
67. International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)
68. International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)
69. International Housing Coalition
70. International Medical Corps
71. International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC)
72. International Relief & Development (IRD)
73. International Relief Teams
74. International Rescue Committee
75. International Women's Health Coalition
76. International Youth Foundation
77. IntraHealth International
78. IREX
79. Islamic Relief USA
80. Islamic Society of North America
81. Jeunes Volontaires pour l'Environment-Nepal
82. John Snow, Inc.
83. Juarez & Associates, Inc. (J&A)
84. Leadership Conference of Women Religious
85. Life for Relief and Development
86. Lions Clubs International
87. Living Water International
88. Lutheran World Relief
89. Management Sciences for Health
90. Management Systems International
91. Medical Care Development
92. Medical Teams International
93. Mercy Corps
94. Mercy-USA for Aid and Development
95. Merlin USA
96. Millennium Water Alliance
97. Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate
98. Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network
99. National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
100. National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
101. National Peace Corps Association
102. NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
103. ONE
104. One Acre Fund
105. Oxfam America
106. Pact Inc.
107. PATH
108. Pathfinder International
109. PCI
110. Physicians for Peace
111. Plan International USA
112. Planet Aid
113. Plant With Purpose
114. Population Action International
115. Population Communication
116. Population Institute
117. Presbyterian Church (USA), Office of Public Witness
118. Presbyterian Hunger Program
119. ProLiteracy
120. PSI
121. Public Health Institute
122. Refugees International
123. Relief International
124. Religious Institute
125. Research!America
126. Resolve
128. Save the Children
129. Self Help Africa
130. Seva Foundation
131. Sierra Club
132. The Borgen Project
133. The Hunger Project
134. Treatment Action Group
135. Trickle Up
136. Truman National Security Project
137. U.S. Fund for UNICEF
138. U.S. International Council on Disabilities (USICD)
139. United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
140. United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
141. United Methodist Committee on Relief
142. United Nations Association of the United States of America
143. United Nations Association of the USA
144. United to End Genocide
145. US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
146. US National Committee for UN Women
147. WASH Advocates
148. Washington Global Health Alliance
149. Washington Office of Public Policy/United Methodist/Women
150. Water For People
151. Water for South Sudan, Inc.
152. Water.org
153. WaterAid in America
154. Waterlines
155. WellShare International
156. Winrock International
157. Women Thrive Worldwide
158. Women's Refugee Commission
159. World Concern
160. World Food Program USA
161. World Learning
162. World Neighbors
163. World Rehabilitation Fund Incorporated
164. World Renew
165. World Vision
166. World Wildlife Fund