MORE INFORMATION: The MDGs and the FY'08 Budget

April 17, 2007


· More than one billion people around the world live on less than a dollar a day. 30,000 will die today; one every three seconds. As Americans, we have an historic opportunity to help those who live in extreme poverty: those who are hungry, those who suffer from AIDS or malaria, and those who lack access to education or clean drinking water.

· In the

United States, the international-affairs portion of our federal budget represents just 1.2% of the federal budget, with less than half of that going toward fighting extreme poverty and deadly disease around the world.

· If the U.S. were to spend just an additional ONE percent of its budget each year on fighting poverty, it would contribute its fair share toward funding of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This funding would help:

Ø Provide access to clean water to 450 million people;

Ø Put 77 million children, most of whom are girls, in school;

Ø Save 16,000 lives a day that are currently lost to AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria; and

Ø Prevent more than 5.4 million young children from dying each year from poverty-related illnesses.

· The United States Senate took a critical step in the right direction when it agreed, in March, to increase the international-affairs allocation in the FY’08 Budget Resolution by a total of $2.2 billion. (This section of the budget contains nearly all the money America devotes to the fight to eradicate global poverty and achieve the MDGs.) This historic bipartisan agreement would boost U.S. funding for international affairs to $39.8 billion in 2008.

· As the House-Senate budget resolution is an advisory document, this important Senate victory must now be adopted by both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, the bodies that will set the binding spending levels for all U.S. budgetary accounts. Members of those committees need to hear from as many of their colleagues as possible in support of adopting the Senate-passed level for the international-affairs budget.

· Investment in the fight against poverty and disease – along with other aspects of the International Affairs budget – is critical not just to our nation’s humanitarian values, but also to building global stability. The 2006 National Security Strategy asserted that “[International] Development reinforces diplomacy and defense, reducing long-term threats to our national security by helping build stable, prosperous, and civil societies.”

· As 2007 represents the halfway point to the MDGs, this year is a critical moment in the world’s progress. U.S. leadership is needed now more than ever. If you have not already done so, please click here to join the ONE Episcopalian campaign, an innovative partnership between the Episcopal Church and ONE: the Campaign to Make Poverty History. By uniting our voices with the 2.5 million other Americans who are part of the ONE Campaign, we have an opportunity to ensure that the U.S. government helps lead the way in achieving the MDGs and building a better, safer world for all God’s people.

GENERAL CONVENTION POLICY: The 74th General Convention of the Episcopal Church adopted resolution D 006 endorsing the Millennium Development Goals. The 75th General Convention voted to make the Church’s work for peace and justice, with a particular emphasis on the MDGs, the top mission priority for the present triennium.