Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, December 01, 2006

Times deems upcoming foreign aid budget worrisome

The delineation in the upcoming foreign aid budget is troubling, according to an editorial in Saturday’s New York Times. While no numbers have been officially released, there are signs that the amount designated for democratic programs will rise drastically, leaving approximately $3.7 billion for anti-poverty programs. This year, democracy programs, which include “training legislative staffs, helping reform courts, and working with women’s and business organizations,” received $1 billion of the $24 billion that the State Department requested for foreign aid. Anti-poverty programs include “fighting disease, promoting education, and providing microcredit loans.”

Although foreign spending has risen, allotments are designated primarily to a few key areas: assistance to Afghanistan and Iraq, international AIDS programs, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation; whereas areas such as youth and maternal health, and development aid to Africa and Latin America and Africa have been sidelined.

The Times is skeptical of the outcome of democratic programs and America’s ability to institute them. Although democracy programs are eminent, it is argued that the itemization in the new budget is flawed, as anti-poverty programs should be prioritized in addition to the goals of promoting democracy and fighting terrorism.

For the full article, click here.


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