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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tawana Jacobs, 202-552-6534 (Office), 202-297-1696 (Cell), tjacobs@interaction.org
Nasserie Carew, 202-552-6561 (Office), 202-341-3814 (Cell), ncarew@interaction.org

NOTE TO CONGRESS: DEFENSE SPENDING MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY INVESTMENTS IN INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

STATEMENT FROM SAMUEL A. WORTHINGTON, INTERACTION PRESIDENT & CEO

Washington, DC (March, 31, 2009)—“It’s ironic that Congress introduces its congressional budget
resolutions that reduce President Obama’s proposed 2010 budget for our diplomacy, international
development, and humanitarian assistance programs the same week the president announces plans to
ramp up our civilian effort in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The two budget proposals up for consideration this week in Congress trim $4-5billion from the
president’s request and limit funding to less than $50 billion total for our diplomacy, international
development, and humanitarian assistance programs while providing the president’s full defense
department request of $664 billion. Robert Gates, U.S. Secretary of Defense, has said more than once
that increasing spending on development and diplomacy is vital to our national security. It’s too bad that
some in Congress aren’t listening.

Congress should work to protect taxpayer dollars, especially during this time of extreme economic
uncertainty, but the cost-cutting must make sense. This doesn’t. Fully funding defense spending while
cutting funds from the international affairs account is about as ill-advised as a newly unemployed
worker not fixing the brakes on the car he must drive to job interviews. He may save money upfront, but
he might face more costly consequences down the road.

As the president said in his remarks about Afghanistan, ‘…At a time of economic crisis, it's tempting to
believe that we can shortchange this civilian effort. But make no mistake: Our efforts will fail in
Afghanistan and Pakistan if we don't invest in their future.’

InterAction and its 175 member organizations urge Congress to fix the budget resolutions currently up
for debate and fully fund U.S. diplomacy, international development, and humanitarian assistance
programs at the president’s proposed levels. It’s an investment now that will pay increasing dividends in
the future.”

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Visit www.interaction.org to read more about InterAction and its member organizations.

InterAction is the largest alliance US-based nongovernmental international humanitarian relief and
development organizations with 175 members. Our members operate in every developing country,
working with local communities to overcome poverty and suffering by helping to improve their quality of
life.