Leading humanitarian groups decry House cuts for disaster aid

By Oxfam

Washington, DC – International humanitarian organization Oxfam America joined other leading organizations to warn Members of Congress that cuts in the foreign disaster aid would imperil the longstanding US commitment to provide lifesaving humanitarian assistance for those threatened by disaster and conflict.

In a letter to Speaker of the House Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor and Minority Leader Pelosi made public today, the CEOs of Oxfam America, Mercy Corps, CARE, Save the Children among others, criticized the resolution (H.R. 1) approved by the House of Representatives over the weekend, which would cut funding for foreign disaster assistance by more than two thirds (67%, $875 million) from last year’s (FY 2010) enacted levels, endangering America’s ability to prepare for and respond to the next major earthquake, tsunami or flood.

“Defunding disasters aid programs has minimal cost-savings in the grand scheme of things, but puts the lives of many poor and vulnerable people at real risk,” said Paul O’Brien, Vice President for Policy and Campaigns.

“While we understand that some hard choices need to be made in this tight financial climate, abruptly reducing our humanitarian commitments in order to save less than one quarter of one percent of total discretionary spending is misguided,” said O’Brien. 

Oxfam America is an international relief and development organization that does not take US Government funding but does advocate for effective programs that create lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice. 

To view full text of the letter, click here.

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