World Vision President Rich Stearns joined the President of the National Association of Evangelicals for a conversation on foreign assistance. Why would cuts to this 1% of the U.S. budget that addresses health, disaster relief, food security issues, promotes religious freedom, and protects human rights be tragic? Listen to the podcast.
“And I don’t think it’s good policy to balance our budget on the backs of the poor. There’s other ways that we can cut back on our government spending that don’t literally take the lives of innocent people around the world who have been helped by our U.S. foreign assistance. So, I just think there’s a little bit of fool’s gold there thinking that we can balance our budget by dramatic cutbacks on foreign assistance.”
– Rich Stearns
Leith Anderson introduces World Vision U.S. President, Rich Stearns; timestamp 1:05.
Rich gives an introduction to U.S. foreign assistance and why Evangelicals should care about it; timestamp 5:57.
“As Christians, most of us want our government to act in ways that are consistent with what we believe to be God’s truth…and I think foreign assistance is very consistent with our Christian values.” – Rich Stearns
A survey reports the majority of Americans think U.S. foreign assistance is around 25 percent of the U.S. budget when in fact it makes up less than 1% of the budget; timestamp 8:05.
Rich explains what is included in the U.S. foreign assistance budget – global health programs, food security programs, disaster and famine relief, and HIV/AIDS prevention and care programs; timestamp 9:53.
U.S. foreign assistance helps keep us safe because it brings stability, makes friends, and helps people find livelihoods – all in all, it is very preventative; timestamp 11:26.
All of the wealthy nations of the north provide foreign assistance – aiming to contribute 7.5 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP), but the U.S. only contributes about .2 percent of its GDP; timestamp 14:58.
Christian organizations are one of the major partners of USAID and the U.S. government around the world; timestamp 17:23.
We are not going to get out of debt by cutting foreign assistance – it is like cutting out toothpaste in your family budget; it won’t make a big difference and the consequences will be far more expensive; timestamp 19:27.
Since 1990, the number of people living in extreme poverty (living on less than $1.25 a day) has been cut in half; timestamp 21:43.
Right now, one of the biggest famines in modern history is predicted to hit East Africa, Nigeria, and Yemen; timestamp 23:25.
Long-term development work that is funded by U.S. foreign assistance helps build reliance in communities from famine and environmental disasters; timestamp 32:58.
Currently, there are over 20 million people in East Africa and the Middle East at risk of being impacted by famine in what the UN is calling the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II. For these families, U.S. foreign assistance is a lifeline.
Watch this message from Rich in Kenya:
With only 43 percent of the funds needed to head off famine raised, these families need your help now more than ever.
Photo: Around 700 children are fed in Northern Bhar-el-Ghazal every day during their lunch break. They receive sorghum and beans. Some children walk far to get to the school, but it’s often their only meal. More children have registered for school since the feeding program has started. © 2017 World Vision/ photo by Stefanie Glinski