In reaction to reports that the Trump administration has temporarily frozen and ordered a review of several key foreign assistance funds that Congress has already approved, Scott Paul, Oxfam America’s Humanitarian Policy Lead, made the following statement:
“This administration’s efforts to cancel the tiny sliver of the budget that goes to foreign assistance is a budget gimmick that unequivocally hurts vulnerable women, men, and children around the world while making us all less safe.
“This is no surprise given this Administration’s slash and burn approach to foreign assistance and governing more broadly. It is a dangerous break with a long tradition of American leadership in the world and violates the Constitution’s separation of powers. We urge Congress to once again ensure that these attempts are not successful.
“Nations must work together to solve the problems they can’t solve alone. Principled internationalism has been a hallmark of American foreign policy for decades. Since the US played a leading role in shaping international institutions like the United Nations and the World Bank, we have reaped the benefits of shared peace and prosperity. They have yielded results as mundane as the international postal system and as bold as the eradication of smallpox and the restoration of the ozone layer.
“To turn our backs now by withholding funds to international organizations, critical peacekeeping efforts and essential international development programs, especially at a time of crisis, would not only betray this legacy, but also the system of global cooperation that works for the benefit of all rather than privileging the interest of a few.”