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Hey, Congress — Here Are 1.7 Million Reasons Not to Cut US Foreign Aid for Health

Morgana Wingard/USAID

The United States Congress is considering cutting its foreign aid budget more than 17% next year, according to a new report that came out this week.

Here are nearly 2 million reasons why they shouldn’t.  

Over the past decade, American donations helped saved the lives of nearly 2 million children across 32 African countries, according to a new study.

Since its founding in 2005, the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), established by former US President George W. Bush, has spent over $500 million a year on malaria prevention, according to the New York Times.

Read More: How Donald Trump's Proposed Cuts to US Foreign Aid Actually Endanger America

And that money — just a fraction of the overall US budget — reduced infant deaths from malaria by 16% in countries that receive PMI aid, according to the study, conducted by economists from the University of North Carolina and Harvard and published in PLOS Medicine journal.

The live-saving benefits of foreign aid make the relatively small investment worthwhile, Dr. Evan Bendavid a health specialist at Stanford University, wrote in an op-ed published alongside the study. Not only does the small amount of money save millions of lives, it also benefits American people.

“Averting deaths of young children from malaria or vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio or measles promotes more stable and prosperous societies,” Bendavid wrote. “In countries where the US gives most for health, the perception of the United States is among the most favorable in the world”.

Read More: Here’s How You Can Help Stop Trump’s Foreign Aid Budget Cuts

After sending aid to Japan following the 2011 tsunami, favorable opinion of the US among Japanese citizens jumped to 85%.

The proposed cuts to US foreign aid now being considered by Congress would be detrimental not only to the American people, but also to those like the 1.7 million children who depend on health aid from the US to survive. 

Take Action: Sign The Petition To Stand For US Foreign Assistance