The “99 percent” protesters occupying Wall Street, Seattle, and other U.S. cities have been in the news recently, protesting against the “one percent” of the wealthiest in the country. However, there is another “one percent” that perhaps should be in the news and on the minds of Americans. That is the one percent of the U.S. Budget that supports foreign aid.
Most Americans think that U.S. investment in foreign aid is much higher and therefore should be a target for budget cuts. A recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that most Americans think the investment is 25 percent of the U.S. budget, not the one percent that is true in fact.
This mis-match between opinion and fact is one of the reasons that Global Washington and several of its member organizations are sponsoring the Global Action Day Campaign. One of the goals of the Campaign is to have Washingtonians learn about, support, and join the more than 140 members of Global Washington that are working in the global development sector.
Another goal of the Global Action Day Campaign is to explain the many ramifications of the work done abroad by Global Washington members. Not only are member organizations impacting lives abroad by reducing disease, providing educational opportunities, and strengthening communities and economies around the world, but they are also supporting the local economy as well. One out of every three jobs in the State of Washington is, in some way, related to foreign trade and international development.
Seattle mayor Mike McGinn has proclaimed November 1, 2011 (11.1.11) as Global Action Day in the City of Seattle, and urges all to “celebrate the accomplishments, innovation, leadership and impact of Seattle’s global development sector for the betterment of the world.”
Other groups across the country are sponsoring other events to highlight the importance of foreign aid. Earlier this month, the U.S. Agency for International Development, along with other organizations including Global Washington members PATH and World Vision, launched a campaign called “The Power of 1%” to highlight the economics of global health, and the benefits that U.S. investments overseas have for Americans at home.