When you think of the ONE Campaign, a lot of our causes probably come to mind: global poverty, preventable disease, HIV/AIDS, gender inequality.
But at our core, our main goal is almost always the same: We pressure governments around the world to do more for the world’s poorest. We want them to use their influence and resources to help fight AIDS and other preventable, treatable diseases in the poorest places on the planet; to help girls everywhere get access to education; to empower small-holder farmers; to expand access to energy and connectivity; and more. ONE and its members are dedicated to educating and petitioning governments so that they will enact policy solutions that can save and improve millions of lives.
And that’s why we’re not just bipartisan… we’re nonpartisan. There are no sides in the fight against extreme poverty — and to work with only one party or the other would do a disservice to the people we are trying to help. Though there might be disagreements over how best to fight it, we know there are politicians on both sides of the aisle who are committed to the fight, period.
So what does that look like? Well, here in the United States, ONE pushes for a fully funded International Affairs budget, which is currently just 1% of the entire U.S. budget. That funding — also known as foreign assistance or foreign aid — saves innocent lives, makes America safer, helps creates jobs here in America, and is just the right thing for the strongest and most successful country on earth to do.
And there are both Democrats and Republicans who are strongly in favor of foreign aid. But every year, budgets and policies that would help the fight against poverty come under threat from cuts and other priorities. That’s when we organize, mobilize, educate, and advocate — regardless of party affiliation — so people living in extreme poverty will have the chance not just to survive, but to thrive.
We’ve been doing this work for about 13 years — through now two Republican presidential administrations and a Democratic one; through Republican-led Congresses and Democrat-led Congresses. And together, we’ve made huge strides in eliminating poverty and preventable disease. (In fact, thanks to a bipartisan commitment to PEPFAR and the Global Fund, we are close to turning the tide against the HIV/AIDS epidemic!)
This year, we have our work cut out for us: President Trump has proposed cutting the budget for State and USAID by 32 percent next year. That proposal becoming law would really hurt people living in extreme poverty and weaken America’s leadership in the world. But we’ve been putting pressure on Congress since getting word of these cuts, and a wide array of senators and representatives from both parties have already voiced their opposition to cutting the foreign aid budget.
But not everyone’s on board yet. That’s why we need you — regardless of your party affiliation — to stand with us and urge your elected official to do the same. Your voice matters.