The Obama administration on Wednesday released its FY 2014 budget request, including funding for U.S. global health activities and proposed changes to the U.S. food aid program. The following is a summary of blog posts and press releases addressing the request.
- Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, "ModernizeAid" blog: The blog provides a statement "delivered on behalf of the endorsing organizations: ActionAid, American Jewish World Service, Bread for the World, CARE, Church World Service, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Maryknoll, The Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, ONE, Oxfam America and Partners in Health." They write in the statement, "This budget reflects a strong commitment to helping the hungry in times of crisis as well as securing long-term food security for the world's most vulnerable. The reforms the president proposes would make these critical programs more effective and efficient while expanding their reach to millions more people" (4/10).
- Oxfam, "Politics of Poverty" blog: "We're still looking over the details, but the first look at President Obama's proposal to overhaul the international food aid program looks very good," Eric Munoz, a senior policy adviser for Oxfam, writes. He provides details of the proposed budget and notes, "Already [on Wednesday], two Republican senators have expressed openness to looking at the proposal and making reforms" (4/10).
- USAID, "IMPACTblog": "The time has come to shift our [food aid] practices so we can reach four million additional children in need of food and eliminate the inefficient workaround of monetization that is currently used to convert our agricultural commodities into cash for development programs," USAID Assistant Administrator Nancy Lindborg writes. "I am keenly aware of the challenges presented by the monetization of Food for Peace commodities and am particularly energized by the potential to eliminate this practice," she states, adding, "Above all, the Food Aid Reform proposal is a re-commitment to USAID food assistance with greater efficiency and effectiveness. In addition to eliminating monetization, the proposal also moves Title II emergency food aid funds into the United States' International Disaster Assistance cash account" (4/10).
- USAID, "IMPACTblog": "Today, with the release of the president's budget for Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14), we are reminded of our role in fulfilling" President Obama's commitment "to ending extreme poverty in the next two decades," Chuck Cooper, assistant administrator of legislative and public affairs, writes. "To seize this moment, USAID is fundamentally changing the way we work: harnessing innovation, science and technology; leveraging our resources to build partnerships that have an even greater impact; and focusing like never before on delivering and measuring results," he states, adding, "The president's food aid reform proposal envisions a more efficient, effective, and timely program that will reach four million more hungry people each year" (4/10).
- amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, press release: The organization "welcomed the president's fiscal year 2014 budget proposal, which includes increases in funding for AIDS research and domestic programming, and a significant increase for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, compared to the fiscal year 2012 budget," but it "raised concern about ... continued proposed reductions for bilateral HIV/AIDS funding through [PEPFAR]," the press release says. amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost said in the statement, "In his State of the Union Speech, President Obama reaffirmed his goal of achieving an AIDS-free generation. We applaud that goal, but recognize that continued investments in AIDS research and evidence-based programming are essential to success." The press release notes "amfAR also released an infographic illustrating the stark differences in the human impact of the House, Senate and White House global AIDS funding proposals for fiscal year 2014" (4/10).
- Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, press release (.pdf): "President Obama's request for $1.65 billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and increased funding for U.S. bilateral health programs will help push the world closer to reining in these three killer diseases," the press release states, adding, "The request further cements the U.S. health leadership role, coming several months prior to the Global Fund's 2013 Replenishment meeting." Deborah Derrick, president of Friends of the Global Fight, said in the statement, "Robust funding for both bilateral and multilateral programs is essential to containing these diseases in the years to come. ... The Global Fund and U.S. bilateral programs depend on each other for mutual success. And the world depends on both to help save lives" (4/10).
- U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, press release: The USGLC "applauds the Obama administration for its $52 billion International Affairs Budget request (which includes $3.8 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations), and urges Congress to support this balanced approach to protecting our security and global economic interests through our tools of development and diplomacy," the press release states. USGLC Co-President and Save the Children President and CEO Carolyn Miles said in the statement, "Helping children and families in the developing world improve their lives is not only the right thing to do but the smart thing to do." The USGLC also provides a detailed analysis of the FY14 budget request, according to the press release (4/10).