Washington, DC, October 3, 2011 – This morning Mandy Moore and Barbara P. Bush will join high-level officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to discuss how less than one percent of the federal budget is saving lives, developing new markets for U.S. products and protecting our borders from infectious disease.
According to a recent poll, most Americans believed U.S. investment in foreign aid to be twenty-five percent of the federal budget, when the accurate figure is less than one percent
At an event in Washington, D.C., USAID, FHI 360, ONE, PATH, PSI and World Vision will launch The Power of 1% to highlight the economics of global health, and the benefits U.S. investments overseas have for Americans at home.
“We know that the health of people in any nation is inextricably linked to the growth of its economy and security,” said Donald Steinberg, Deputy Administrator for USAID, “We invest in the health of developing nations because it is the right thing to do, and because our economy and security is dependent upon it as well.”
While many Americans may not recognize the link between US foreign investment and jobs at home, experts say it is a fact of the modern economy. According to the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, the fastest growing markets for American goods are developing countries—representing roughly half of all U.S. exports and supporting 1 in 5 American jobs. By creating healthy communities and working conditions, we can halt the billions of dollars in lost productivity every year and turn that capacity into a market that will drive future growth. By establishing links to these consumers today, we can effectively position American companies to sell them goods tomorrow.
“I have just returned from a trip to Cameroon where I saw firsthand what U.S. support contributes to on the ground there,” said Mandy Moore, ambassador for global health organization PSI. “I know U.S. aid is working. People are better able to keep themselves healthy and when people are healthy, it makes sense that they are more productive. If we help people out of poverty, it not only saves lives, but helps to drive economic growth, which is good for everyone.”
In addition to saving lives and improving economies, U.S. investments in global health are protecting Americans from infectious disease which knows no borders. U.S. global health programs have dramatically reduced the spread of diseases like HIV, malaria and TB, in addition to focusing on key interventions that save the lives of mothers and children.
The conversation goes beyond today’s The Power of 1% event, continuing online where people are sharing their thoughts on why foreign aid is important. Follow the conversation using the Twitter hash tag #WhyForeignAid.