Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World is alarmed by today’s release of the Trump administration’s “skinny” budget for fiscal year 2018, which targets international and domestic programs that serve poor and hungry people. If passed, this budget would make it nearly impossible to end hunger and extreme poverty.
“The unprecedented spending cuts President Trump is proposing to the State Department and other international programs would roll back the tremendous progress we have made against hunger and poverty,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “This budget could not be more shortsighted. Less than 1 percent of the U.S. budget goes to foreign aid. Trump is proposing these cuts as 20 million people stand on the verge of or are in the midst of famine in Africa.”
President Trump’s budget proposes a 31 percent cut to the State Department and USAID, which fund many of the United States’ foreign aid and development assistance programs. It would also eliminate the McGovern–Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, which supports nutrition and education in poor countries, and the Africa Development Fund. In 2015, 2.9 million children benefited from the McGovern-Dole program.
“It is clear from this budget that the administration plans to restructure the State Department and USAID, moving away from those who need assistance the most,” Beckmann added.
The proposed budget also includes significant cuts to programs that serve poor and hungry Americans. This includes the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which supports before- and after-school and summer programs for at-risk youth. Because the budget lacks many specifics, we do not yet know the full impact of the cuts.
“A significant percentage of Trump’s domestic spending cuts come from programs that are vital to low-income families,” Beckmann said. “President Trump has repeatedly said he would look out for the ‘forgotten men and women’ in our country. But with this budget, he’s the one who seems to have forgotten about them.”
Bread for the World’s 2017 Offering of Letters: Doing Our Part to End Hunger asks Congress to pass a budget that puts us on track to end hunger by 2030.