Hot Off the Presses

March 24, 2011 By Joel Paque

As recent surveys have shown, there are many misconceptions about the United State’s foreign assistance programs. Rather than the 25 percent of the federal budget the majority of Americans think we spend on the International Affairs Budget, it’s really just over 1 percent.  And if you’ve ever wondered how the International Affairs Budget advances U.S. national interests, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition has just released a guide on how vital this funding is to our nation.

Programs ranging from USAID-led humanitarian efforts in the wake of natural disasters, to the State Department’s work to combat international crime, to the Export-Import Bank’s programs to help U.S. businesses access developing markets all receive funding from the International Affairs Budget. As Congress considers measures to lower the federal budget deficit, it is important to keep in mind that these programs are more than just “foreign aid.” The International Affairs Budget includes investments in programs that are critical to protecting our national security, promoting our economic prosperity, and demonstrating our leadership in the world.

This guide looks at the contributions the International Affairs Budget makes across a range of areas, including:

  • Stabilizing Weak and Fragile States
  • Supporting Strategic Allies
  • Combating Global Threats such as Weapons Proliferation and Drug Trafficking
  • Promoting U.S. Exports and Creating American Jobs
  • Promoting Good Governance and Rule of Law
  • Reducing Global Poverty and Promoting Economic Growth
  • Responding to Humanitarian Disasters
  • Strengthening U.S. Civilian Capacity to Advance U.S. Interests
  • Leveraging Partnerships
  • Promoting Public Diplomacy and Cultural Exchange