GOP Budget Would Kill 70K Kids: USAID Chief

Foreign aid vital for economy's future, Rajiv Shah argues
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2011 3:30 AM CDT
An Afghan girl collects seed from the ground at the "Women's Garden" established by USAID iin Pul-e-Khumri, Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)

(Newser) – House Republicans' version of the budget deal to keep the government running would cause the deaths of at least 70,000 children around the world who depend on America aid, USAID chief Rajiv Shah testified yesterday. The agency predicts that 30,000 will die because of the scaling back of malaria control programs, 24,000 because of a lack of support for immunizations, and 16,000 because of a lack of skilled attendants at birth, Foreign Policy reports.

Shah argued that foreign aid will provide a long-term boost to the US economy by establishing future markets for American exports. "By establishing links to consumers at the bottom of the pyramid, we effectively position American countries to enter more markets and sell more goods in the economies of the future, promoting exports and creating American jobs," he said.

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