Foreign Aid 101: Why it matters
Forty percent of the world's population struggles in extreme povery - most of them are women who subsist on less than $2 per day.
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As part of our commemoration of International Women's Day and our mission to work toward a better life for women and girls living in poverty in the developing world, Dining for Women and Oxfam America have joined to heighten awareness of what foreign aid does, how it works and where it is most successful.
Some key foreign aid facts
- Less than 1 percent of the federal budget goes to foreign aid
- In fact, Americans spend as much maintaining their lawns or purchasing candy as they do on foreign aid ($30B).
- The $45 billion Americans spend each year on their pets is more than we spend on foreign aid.
According to Oxfam America, the most successful use of foreign aid is when it is given to grass-roots organizations that build the capacity to be self-sustaining.
For more information about the history of foreign aid and the ways in which it plays an important role around the world and also complements the DFW mission of helping women and girls, view the Oxfam America briefing paper: Foreign Aid 101.
What can you do?
Become an advocate. Here are some steps you can take:
- Sign a petition
- Call your elected representative
- Meet with staff in your local representative's office
- Write a letter to the editor of your local paper
- Send a letter to your representative
To help you find information on your federal representatives or senators, visit www.house.gov or www.senate.gov. To find out who your representatives are, your district number and contact information, check out Congress Merge.
DFW and Oxfam America are also joining to present a series of live events through March and April. Women Report from Abroad: Personal Stories of Foreign Aid Success will feature grass-roots program organizers and activists telling their stories of work with women and girls in less developed countries and share their inspiring stories of success thanks, in part to US Foreign Aid.
Events are free, but online registration is required. For more information about the series, speakers and locations, please visit our Eventbrite page.
Click on the main image to view slideshow on Flickr
- DFW sponsored a webinar training program for regional and chapter leaders on Foreign Aid. You can review that presentation (recorded archive available on 3/1/13), featuring Oxfam America's Jon Scanlon, lead organizer for economic justice.
- Download the presentations from the webinar - Foreign Aid 101 - in PDF format.
- We've put together a comprehensive document to give you a good overview of how foreign aid works and where it helps.
- Stay on top of issues and developments related to foreign aid at foreignassistance.gov
- View the Oxfam America briefing paper: Foreign Aid 101.