Africa: Budget Action Alert, 4/18/97

Africa: Budget Action Alert, 4/18/97

Africa: Budget Action Alert
Date distributed (ymd): 970418
WOA Document

This posting contains an action alert from the Washington Office on Africa and a background signon letter from Faith Action for People-Centered Development, a coalition of Washington-based groups. This posting is being distributed only to the addresses on the Africa Policy Electronic Distribution List that are identifiable as on U.S-based host computers.


WOA Action Alert

April 17, 1997


African sustainable development efforts will be greatly affected by decisions on the foreign assistance budget now scheduled for April 23, 1997.

The House International Relations Committee chairman Ben Gilman is proposing $18.8 billion for the overall Fiscal Year (FY) 1998 international affairs budget, which is $500 million above the FY97 level but $700 million below the President's current request. Despite a potential increase, Gilman is proposing to cut bilateral development assistance programs by a total of $180 million below the FY97 level.

In the past two years the average overall cuts to the foreign operations budget have been 10-11%. But the line items that are most important to Africa have suffered disproportionately severe cuts. The Gilman proposal for FY98 would cut child survival and disease programs by $45 million*, family planning by $57 million, and the Development Fund for Africa (DFA) by another $100 million from their FY97 levels. DFA has already been cut 16% from $802 million to $675 million over the past two years. The African Development Foundation (ADF) has been cut from $16.9 million to $11.5 million over the same period, a 32% reduction. Gilman's proposal would keep refugee and migration assistance as well as disaster assistance at the same levels as FY97. Unprotected programs in "remaining DA" (e.g. microenterprise, democracy, environment, agriculture, and economic growth) look to take even deeper cuts.

This proposal would be devastating, because it will set a marker for the budget and appropriations committees as they determine their numbers.

Action Needed:

Call toll free 1-800-962-3524. When the operator answers Capitol, ask for the Representative by name and they will transfer your call to the Member's office.

Tell Members of the House International Relations Committee that Representative Gilman's proposed cut in development assistance is unfair and unacceptable. With a large percentage of the poorest countries in the world, Africa should not be expected to bear the brunt of further disproportionate cuts.

At an absolute minimum, Congress must adopt the Administration's request for development assistance ($66 million above FY97 levels). If the foreign assistance budget is to be increased, then development assistance should be the top priority for a restoration of funds. Poverty eradication for the most marginalized and vulnerable peoples and countries should be a priority within the accounts, since these programs have been cut so deeply already.

The Administration's request is still too low for development program needs, but it is the highest proposal under consideration. Gilman has stated on many occasions his public support for development programs and the PVO community, and we need to encourage him to demonstrate that support by raising the funding levels. The policy makers listed below need to hear from you this week before markup!

House International Relations Committee Members 105th Congress

If you call direct or send a fax, the area code is (202).


Gary L. Ackerman D NY 225-2601 225-1589

Robert Andrews D NJ 225-6501 225-6583

Cass Ballenger R NC 225-2576 225-0316

Doug Bereuter R NE 225-4806 226-1148

Howard L. Berman D CA 225-4695 225-5279

Roy Blunt R MO 225-6536 225-5604

Sherrod Brown D OH 225-3401 225-2266

Dan Burton R IN 225-2276 225-0016

Tom Campbell R CA 225-2631 225-6788

Walter Holden Capps D CA 225-3601 225-5632

Steven J. Chabot R OH 225-2216 225-3012

Pat Danner D MO 225-7041 225-8221

Eni F.H. Faleomavaega D AS 225-8577 225-8757

Jon D. Fox R PA 225-6111 225-3155

Elton Gallegly R CA 225-5811 225-1100

Sam Gejdenson D CT 225-2076 225-4977

Benjamin A. Gilman R NY 225-5021 225-2035

William F. Goodling R PA 225-5836 226-1000

Lindsey O. Graham R SC 225-5301 225-3216

Lee H. Hamilton D IN 225-6735 226-3581

Alcee Hastings D FL 225-1313 226-0690

Earl Hilliard D AL 225-2665 226-0772

Amo Houghton R NY 225-3161 225-5574

Henry J. Hyde R IL 225-4561 225-1166

Jay Kim R CA 225-3201 226-1485

Peter King R NY 225-7896 226-2279

Dennis J. Kucinich D OH 225-5871 225-5745

Tom Lantos D CA 225-3531 225-7900

Jim Leach R IA 225-6576 226-1278

Donald Manzullo R IL 225-5676 225-5284

Matthew G. Martinez D CA 225-5464 225-5467

John McHugh R NY 225-4611 226-0621

Cynthia McKinney D GA 225-1605 226-0691

Robert Menendez D NJ 225-7919 226-0792

Jerry Moran R KS 225-2715 225-5124

Donald M. Payne D NJ 225-3436 225-4160

Dana Rohrabacher R CA 225-2415 225-7067

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen R FL 225-3931 225-5620

Steven R. Rothman D NJ 225-5061 225-5851

Ed Royce R CA 225-4111 226-0335

Matthew J. Salmon R AZ 225-2635 225-3405

Marshall Sanford R SC 225-3176 225-3407

Brad Sherman D CA 225-5911 225-5879

Christopher H. Smith R NJ 225-3765 225-7768

Robert Wexler D FL 225-3001 225-5974

[* Note: For more information on health funding in particular, please contact Chuck Woolery, National Council of International Health, 1701 K St., Washington, DC 20006-1503; tel: 202-833-5900 x206; fax: 202-833-0075; e-mail:]


Letter from Faith Action for People-Centered Development

March 24, 1997

Dear Senator/Congressperson:

We are writing to urge your strong support for the Administration's FY 98 budget request for the Function 150 International Affairs account. While we do not support the security assistance included in the 150 account, we know that in the past a lower aggregate total has resulted in lower levels of funding for global anti- poverty and hunger efforts. To the extent that the proposed $19.451 billion, a four percent increase over appropriated FY 97 funding, leads to increased humanitarian and development assistance it represents a modest but important step toward renewing U.S. commitment to international cooperation and engagement in an ever more interdependent world. The requested $921 million FY 97 supplemental for U.N. dues is likewise critically important.

The U.S. finds itself at the end of the twentieth century facing complex challenges and opportunities in its relations with the community of nations. Our country must work to articulate a new vision for global economic, social and political relations that will serve as the basis for a well-reasoned post-Cold War foreign policy. This new, forward-looking foreign policy must, we believe, include foursquare support for the United Nations, and foreign assistance targeted to sectors and regions that are being marginalized further by current trends in global economic integration; support for countries in transition, peace processes, peacekeeping, and conflict prevention; world-wide reductions in military spending and forces; and relief of human suffering resulting from natural and humanly-caused crises and emergencies.

We believe that the proposed level of resources for international affairs represents the minimum that will be needed as the U.S. pursues a new vision of global affairs. We note that the U.S. ranks last among donor countries in its level of aid when measured as a percentage of Gross National Product. At the same time, the U.S. rates first among donors in the percentage of its aid allocated to high-income countries. We urge both continued reform of aid institutions and approval of increased resources for FY 98 and beyond. We urge that this aid be used in programs that serve poor people, especially in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

The Administration's FY 98 budget request includes increased funding for people-centered development programs, which we believe should have a priority claim on international affairs resources. This includes the Agency for International Development's Development Fund for Africa, the Inter-American Foundation, the African Development Foundation, debt restructuring for poor countries, the concessional lending program the Inter-American Development Bank (the Fund for Special Operations - FSO) , the proposed AID Africa Food Security Initiative, and funding for International Organizations and Programs.

We commend the high priority the Administration has assigned to funding for current obligations and arrearage payments for U.S. contributions to the United Nations, to U.N. peacekeeping operations and to the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA). Global institutions are indispensable to efforts to achieve human security. Reform of the United Nations and World Bank should seek not only greater efficiency, but policies and practices that make a clear priority of poverty eradication that incorporates the leadership and participation of poor people.

During a time of diminishing resources budget allocations become an even more critical reflection of national priorities. We urge support for budget allocations that give greater emphasis to human security and less emphasis to security narrowly-defined in military terms. Real security is achieved by ensuring the full range of human rights including civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights. An increased emphasis on this real security is needed both in U.S. foreign and domestic policy.

Recent opinion polls, focus groups, and patterns of charitable giving demonstrate that the American people have a deep humanitarian commitment. The proposed increase in FY 98 and supplemental FY 97 funding for international affairs represents an effort to reflect this ethic more strongly in U.S. policy priorities. We urge your support of the full request.


David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World

Fr. Robert Brooks, Director of Government Relations, The Episcopal Church

Mark B. Brown, Assistant Director for Advocacy, Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Daryl Byler, Director, Washington Office, Mennonite Central Committee

Imani Countess, Executive Director, Washington Office on Africa

Michael Dodd, Director, Columban Fathers, Justice and Peace Office

Jaydee R. Hanson, Assistant General Secretary, Ministry of God's Creation, General Board of Church and Society United Methodist Church

John Harvey, Director, Washington Office, Church of the Brethren

Jay Lintner, Director, Office for Church in Society/ United Church of Christ

Rev. Elenora Giddings Ivory, Director, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Washington Office

James Matlack, Director, Washington Office, American Friends Service Committee

Terence W. Miller, Director, Maryknoll Justice and Peace Office

Rodney Page, Executive Director, Church World Service

Edward Stowe, Legislative Secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation

George Vickers, Executive Director, Washington Office on Latin America

Corinne Whitlatch, Director, Churches for Middle East Peace

Kathryn Wolford, President, Lutheran World Relief

Miriam A. Young, Executive Director, Asia Pacific Center for Justice and Peace


Message-Id: <199704181351.GAA12791@igc3> Comments: Authenticated sender is <> Date: Fri, 18 Apr 1997 09:50:40 -0500 Subject: Africa: Budget Action Alert

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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