Overview: Foreign Assistance, 1% of the U.S. budget

The International Affairs Account (or 150 Account) comprises about 1% of the total U.S. budget at $59 billion. Evangelicals have championed the 150 Account over the last 15 years, because it includes funding for U.S. global health and poverty focused development assistance, such a humanitarian and emergency assistance, clean water, education and other programs focused on relieving suffering and empowering partner countries to lift themselves out of extreme poverty. The 150 Account funds the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the Peace Corps, and nearly all other international programs carried out by the U.S. government. The 150 Account also funds virtually all of the programs these agencies carry out overseas, including global health, food security, humanitarian relief for refugees, and economic development programs.

  • Poverty focused development assistance, including global health ($39B) : A significant amount of the International Affairs Account funding goes to programs that are focused on poverty alleviation and development. This funding comprises the host of global health funding for HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, family planning, tuberculosis, malaria, neglected tropical disease, and vulnerable children. (See the chart below the specific issues of funding at $10.3B.) This funding also includes development programs that promote economic growth, education, clean water, nutrition, and empowering women. 
  • Security Assistance ($20B): Through the 150 Account, the United States also provides security assistance that enhances the ability of our allies to work with us to meet global threats. It pays for things like training to professionalize militaries in developing countries. It also funds programs that are aimed at countering weapons of mass destruction and fighting terrorism.
  • Agency Operations: The operating budgets of agencies like the State Department, USAID, MCC, and the Peace Corps are also funded from the 150 Account.

 The Arguments: Why We Must Protect It

  • For just 1% of the federal budget, the 150 Account supports programs that are both the smart thing to do, and the right thing to do.
  • National Security: The 150 Account is a proven investment in our nation’s security. Economists agree that collapsed, failed states are breeding grounds for terrorism. Foreign assistance plays a critical role in our defense. Secretary of Defense, General James Mattis once testified to Congress “If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition.” Research suggests that investing in prevention is, on average, 60 times less costly than war and post-conflict reconstruction costs. Development can perform essential terrorism-preventing functions that the military cannot. America’s development programs bolster state legitimacy by strengthening government institutions, the rule of law, and anti-corruption efforts; fostering economic opportunities in the private sector; and assisting with better delivery of government services.
  • Public Health: Some might argue that we have more important needs here at home. But in today’s globalized world, problems that we ignore abroad inevitably become problems on our own doorstep. Examples include diseases like SARS, zika, or ebola.
  • Moral: Our national commitment to these issues is a reflection of the benevolent character as a country. As people of faith, we welcome a public commitment to serving vulnerable people around the world – we urge the U.S. to continue to be a leader in this effort.
  • Life-Saving Mechanism: The 150 Account saves lives. More than 11.5 million victims of HIV and AIDS have access to antiretroviral medication thanks to PEPFAR. Millions more are protected from malaria with access to bednets and from other diseases with access vaccines. The number of people living in extreme poverty around the world has been cut in half with the help of development activities funded by the 150 Account. Moreover, This funding gives vital support to refugees driven from their homes, and it combats human trafficking.
  • Trade: The 150 Account helps support American businesses and American jobs by expanding markets for U.S. goods around the world, and improving the rule of law to fight corruption, level the playing field and help American companies compete.
  • Economic Investment: The 150 Account also helps spur investment from other governments and the private sector. For example, the initial U.S. commitment of $7 billion for Power Africa – a program to develop electricity infrastructure - has leveraged over $31 billion in private sector commitments to catalyze economic development in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Issues: Global Health and Development

150 account

The International Affairs poverty focused development assistance comprises the following issues for funding

    Largely because of America’s strong bipartisan leadership, the world has made remarkable progress in the fights against HIV/AIDS over the last 15 years. For the first time ever, scientists see a pathway for not just controlling the diseases, but for defeating it. Key legislation for HIV/AIDS includes the following: 
      • PEPFAR (President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) (USAID & State Funding) funding focuses on prevention, care and treatment, and the support of children affected and infected by HIV and AIDS. In 2016, PEPFAR programs achieved the following historic results:
        • 11.5 million men, women, and children on life-saving antiretroviral treatment
        • Prevented nearly 2 million babies from being born with HIV, who would otherwise have been infected
        • 1.1 million children are on life-saving antiretroviral treatment
        • More than 1 million adolescent girls and young women were reached with critical comprehensive HIV prevention intervention
        • 6.2 million orphans and vulnerable children received care and support
        • 220,000 new health care workers trained to deliver HIV and other health services
        • 74.3 million people received HIV testing and counseling
      • Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria funding combats infectious disease over 135 nations fully integrating with PEPFAR services worldwide. For every US $100 million invested in Global Fund-supported programs will do the following:
        • Save more than 130,000 lives through programs supported by the Global Fund, and;
        • Avert up to 1.9 million new infections or cases across the three diseases, and;
        • Provide antiretroviral therapy for more than 100,000 people, and;
        • Provide treatment for 31,000 women to prevent passing HIV to their babies, and;
        • Provide TB treatment and care for 153,000 people, and;
        • Provide 4,300 people with treatment for multidrug-resistant TB, and;
        • Distribute 6.2 million mosquito nets to protect children and families from malaria, and;
        • Provide indoor residual spraying for 1.2 million households to protect children and families from malaria, and;
        • Spur domestic investment of US$300 million toward the three diseases, and;
        • Create US$2.2 billion in long-term economic gains.
    • Malaria programs treat, prevent, and control this deadly disease with the vision of ending preventable child and maternal deaths. The programs also build government capacity to treat and prevent malaria.
    • Tuberculosis programs screen, diagnose, and treat millions of people each year affected by the leading infectious disease killer globally in order to cure and prevent the spread of TB.
    • Vaccines/GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization)Vaccines are one of the most efficient, successful, and cost-effective health and development investments in existence. By investing in GAVI, the U.S. has helped avert at least eight million deaths.
    • Hunger and agriculture - The world has the knowledge, tools, and resources to feed every person on the planet, but famines are taking root in four countries and hundreds of millions of people are now facing chronic food shortages.
    • Nutrition - Like dangerous roads, dirty water, and a lack of electricity, poor nutrition is part of the infrastructure on which extreme poverty festers. We can prevent nearly half of the deaths of children globally – amounting to 3 million children – by improving their basic nutrition, leading to better health, education, and economic growth in the world’s poorest places.
    • International Family Planning Family Planning/Reproductive Health programs, with U.S. leadership of 44% of bilateral contribution to FamilyPlanning2020 goals, in 2016, held the following results: More than 300 million women had access to modern contraceptives across 69 focus countries; we averted an estimated 82 million unintended pregnancies; we averted 25 million unsafe abortions; and we averted 124,000 maternal deaths.
    • Education is vital for ending poverty, but 130 million girls globally are still out of school, and because poverty is sexist, most of those girls are in the world’s poorest countries. The United States can’t do very much to help those girls if its development programs are cut.
    • Girls and women - Everyone should have an equal opportunity to thrive. We can start by ensuring girls and women living in extreme poverty overseas are educated, protected, and respected. In too many countries, being born poor and female means a life sentence of inequality, oppression, and poverty – and in many cases it’s also a death sentence. We can’t break the cycle of inequality if we turn our backs on girls and women living in extreme poverty.
    • Clean water - Access to clean water means people living in extreme poverty can spend more time working, learning, and living their lives, and less time looking for water. And since dirty water often carries deadly diseases, clean water is a critical priority for people living in extreme poverty.

      Learn More

      For a compelling video about the Global Fund, a life-saving initiative supported by the International Affairs Budget: Dear America.

      For a video explaining how the International Affairs Budget supports the U.S. economy: Kids Discuss America’s Global Leadership

      For the most current facts and figures on the International Affairs Budget now: The Latest

      Subscribe to our newsletter to recieve the latest updates.