Poverty-Focused Development Assistance (PFDA) 101

March 27, 2017
Photo by Joseph Molieri/Bread for the World.

U.S. development assistance has made a big difference to millions of people in poverty. A well that provides clean drinking water for a village may cost a few hundred dollars, but the benefits far exceed that sum in terms of improving people’s health, increasing the productivity of workers, and allowing girls to attend school rather than walking hours each day to find other sources of water.

Though poverty-focused development assistance (PFDA) comprises less than 1 percent of the entire budget of the U.S. government, it has crucially important functions. It provides life-saving programs for millions of people who are hungry and poor, bolsters U.S. national security, and promotes trade and job creation both here and abroad.

PFDA programs focus on issues of human needs, such as agricultural development and nutrition, emergency humanitarian assistance, global health, education, gender equality, and water and sanitation. PFDA works to support people caught in humanitarian crises, such as conflicts or famine. It also builds long-term socioeconomic capacity so countries can eventually become self-sufficient.

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