President Obama, has proposed spending $47 billion in 2012 for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). This is the money the U.S. spends on programs to fight poverty, empower women, ensure US security, fight disease, promote economic development and more.
In an effort to reduce the Federal deficit, House Republicans have proposed to reduce funding spent on international affairs (i.e. USAID and State Department) for the remainder of 2011 by 19%. Even worse, the House has threatened further reductions that would reduce the 2012 budget by $11 to $16 billion less than the president has proposed.
We cannot stand for this! These budget cuts would cripple our development efforts, not just in “frontline states” like Afghanistan and Iraq, but also in places across Africa and beyond – countries that need our help. We are calling on YOU, students who care about the U.S. role in the world, to campaign against the proposed budget cuts. There are three ways you can take action…
1. Write your representative a postcard to tell him/her that aid is important and must be maintained. It’s easy and fun to do - details below.
2. E-mail your Representative and tell him/her to maintain U.S. Aid: http://bit.ly/SupportUSaid
3. Spread the Word on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_147768475284795&ap=1
How to Create your own postcard
Create personalized DIY postcards featuring a photo of a country that receives foreign assistance from the U.S. You are free to use a photo of your choice or one of the many AIDemocracy will supply. On the back of this photo write a short description of why this country is special to you, how foreign assistance from the U.S. is beneficial, and a plea to sustain the foreign affairs budget. Follow the steps below..
1. Select a photograph from those provided by AIDemocracy of a country that you feel significantly benefits from receiving US foreign aid.
2. On the back of this photo write a short description focusing on
• Why is this country important to you?
• Why does this country need further aid from the U.S.? What do you think would happen if aid was cut off?
• An appeal to your representative and Congress person to maintain the foreign affairs budget– “Dear ________, helping the world’s most vulnerable people realize a healthier, more prosperous future should not be a partisan issue. Our support for international development reflect fundamental American values of progress and peace. When we invest in foreign assistance, we are also promote international stability and building strong allies. I urge you to please vote to sustain the current fiscal level of U.S. foreign assistance. Thank you, _____”
• A “PS” footnote containing one relevant statistical anecdote about what has been achieved with US aid dollars. (provided at the bottom of this page)
3. Stamp and mail!
To receive postcards to fill, general assistance, or more information please contact Mukul Sharma at (301)-928-9197 or by mail Mukul@aidemoracy.org