Fight extreme poverty
Super PAC ONE Vote asked candidates of the 2016 presidential election to go on record regarding what they would do to fight extreme poverty if they were elected.

At this time, three of the 12 Republican candidates have responded: Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham (who has since dropped out of the race). So far, none of the Democratic candidates have responded to ONE Vote’s inquiry.

A ONE Vote 2016 organizer spoke with Cruz at a town hall event in Guthrie Center, Iowa on Jan. 4, 2016 and asked what he would do about extreme poverty in Africa.

Cruz stressed the importance of continuing investments in research and development to stop preventable diseases like AIDS. However, he did not comment on what legislation or organizations he supports that are working to reduce global poverty.

Huckabee created a video response affirming ONE Vote’s significant impact in the fight against extreme poverty. The former governor also noted that he personally visited Rwanda a few years ago with the organization and saw their work in action.

Huckabee also commends ONE for supporting the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which was created under Former President George W. Bush’s administration to save the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS. He said he feels this is something the U.S. should continue to support.

“It’s a very small investment for an incredibly large result,” Huckabee told ONE Vote regarding PEPFAR. “That result being the saving of human lives from AIDS and to make sure that there is a healthy environment, climate and safe water to drink for the people of those areas.”

A majority of the video Huckabee submitted focused more on ONE’s influence than any action he would take to alleviate extreme poverty.

Graham, who has dropped out of the presidential race, gave the most comprehensive response to how he would fight extreme poverty in his video for ONE.

Graham pledged to support PEPFAR, grow the Global Fund, grow the Millennium Challenge Corporation, increase assistance to Africa and the developing world, fight poverty and create conditions where radical Islam cannot thrive.

“To me, the one percent we spend on foreign assistance has the best return of any one percent of the entire budget,” Graham said in his video for ONE. “I am completely committed as president of the United States to growing this account and being a partner with ONE.”

Summer Jackson

Sources: CNN, OneVote16 1, OneVote16 2, OneVote16 3, PepFar
Photo: Flickr

Foreign Aid Quotes
Although Congress is known to disagree amongst itself, there is one issue that many members of the Democratic and Republican Party do agree on: the importance of foreign aid. Here are 10 quotes made by members of Congress stressing the need to continue funding foreign aid.

1. “Foreign aid must be viewed as an investment, not an expense…but when foreign aid is carefully guided and targeted at a specific issue, it can and must be effective.” – U.S. Representative Kay Granger (R-TX), Huffington Post, June 2011

2. “The world we live in takes a multifaceted approach. To the American taxpayer: We need to be investing in improving people’s lives before the terrorists try to take over.” – U.S. Senator, Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Foreign Policy magazine, February 2011

3. “For development to play its full role in our national security structure, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) must be a strong agency with the resources to accomplish the missions we give it. But during the last two decades, decision-makers have not made it easy for USAID to perform its vital function. Even as we have rediscovered the importance of foreign assistance, we find ourselves with a frail foundation to support a robust development strategy. I believe the starting point for any future design of our assistance programs and organization should not be the status quo, but rather the period in which we had a well functioning and well-resourced aid agency.” – U.S. Senator Dick Lugar (R-IN), Statement on Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act, July 2009

4.“The right question to ask is: are we really spending too much on non-defense programs? The answer is clearly no. Non-defense discretionary spending levels are essentially unchanged from 2001. There is no reason we shouldn’t be able to afford them today.” – U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI), June 2011

5.”The real problem in America’s spending is not foreign aid, which is a very small part of our budget.” – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Town Hall meeting, July 2011

6. “We face tremendous foreign policy and national security challenges worldwide, from helping countries manage peaceful, democratic transitions in the Middle East, to preventing violence, conflict, and terrorism from engulfing key partners, and to leading humanitarian responses to forestall drought, famine, and natural disasters. We are only able to achieve these aims with a strong State Department and USAID.” – U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA), Press release, July 2011

7. “Leaders of both parties have affirmed that U.S. power is a three-legged stool of military might, diplomatic skill and development. The foreign aid bill’s diplomatic and development objectives pay dividends by helping avoid military deployments to protect U.S. interests, which are far more costly in both life and treasure. Robust engagement is no less necessary to achieve strategic security imperatives in this belt-tightening atmosphere. Investments in health, education, humanitarian aid for refugees and disaster victims and micro-loans for entrepreneurs are critical to fostering stability around the world. It would be senseless to let our response to a fiscal challenge create a national security crisis.” – U.S. Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY), Op-Ed in Politico, February 2011

8. “Our top military leaders are adamant that International Affairs programs are a critical to our national security. Our top business leaders are adamant that these programs are critical to our economic future. I’ve seen firsthand how these programs work beyond the frontline states and these cuts will seriously restrict our ability to keep Americans safe and advance our economic interests.” – Former U.S. Congressman and Ambassador Mark Green, July 2011

9. “Foreign aid is important. If it’s done right, it spreads America’s influence around the world in a positive way.” – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Town Hall meeting, July 2011

10. (In support of continuing aid to Egypt) “Cut off all aid immediately and you will take an economy that is already floundering and probably drive it into chaos, and that is not in anyone’s national security interests.” – Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J

Mary Penn

Sources: Huffington Post, InterAction
Photo: Politico


Read Humanitarian Quotes.