Bread for the World Applauds Foreign Aid Reform Bill
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Washington, DC, September 21, 2012
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed legislation earlier this week that will improve the accountability and transparency of U.S. foreign assistance.
“This bill is a victory for American taxpayers and for hungry and poor people around the world,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “It allows Americans to know exactly how their tax dollars are being used to support poor people around the world, and it makes foreign aid more transparent.”
The Foreign Assistance Transparency and Accountability Act of 2012 (S. 3310) emphasizes the key role the United States plays in international foreign aid. The bill was introduced by Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) with the support of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). A companion measure, H.R. 3159, is currently under consideration in the House Foreign Relations Committee. Both bills would improve the overall transparency of and accountability for U.S. foreign assistance. If passed into law, the legislation would establish a common standard for measuring the performance of programs across every federal agency that administers foreign aid, and it would ensure that such evaluations and reports are made publicly available to American taxpayers.
“This is an important first step toward helping the poorest people in the poorest places lift themselves out of poverty,” added Beckmann. “I applaud Sen. Lugar and Sen. Rubio for their efforts and urge the full Senate to approve the bill and create a circle of protection around programs that support hungry and poor people.”
Funding for U.S. foreign assistance programs comprise less than 1 percent of the federal budget, yet these programs help save millions of lives internationally. These programs are not long-term handouts: they fight systemic poverty and empower poor people to reach sustainable well-being. Funding U.S. foreign assistance is not only the right thing to do, it also demonstrates U.S. leadership and protects our national security and economic future.
Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.
Kristen Y. Archer, Acting Manager for Media Relations, 202-688-1118