That’s what would happen if Congress pares back appropriations for USAID, says Rajiv Shah:
“We estimate, and I believe these are very conservative estimates, that H.R. 1 would lead to 70,000 kids dying,” USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah testified before the House Appropriations State and Foreign Ops subcommittee.
“Of that 70,000, 30,000 would come from malaria control programs that would have to be scaled back specifically. The other 40,000 is broken out as 24,000 would die because of a lack of support for immunizations and other investments and 16,000 would be because of a lack of skilled attendants at birth,” he said.
It’s worth noting that non-military foreign aid is just about the only category of spending a majority of Americans consistently favor cutting. But they also vastly overestimate how much we spend. One recent survey found Americans thought 25% of the budget went to foreign aid. The real number is in the neighborhood of 1%. Cuts have become more popular in wake of the recession, and on a broader scale, Western contributions to international aid programs like the United Nations’ World Food Program have taken a serious hit in the last few years.