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With just 1 percent of the federal budget, the US government has achieved significant impact in international health and development in the last 50 years. That was the theme PATH and our partners celebrated in events marking the 50th anniversary of the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

On October 3 and 4, PATH and our partners Population Services International (PSI), FHI 360, World Vision, the ONE Campaign, and USAID participated in a press conference, a speaker series, an evening reception, and a congressional briefing to mark “The Power of 1%.” The events drew a diverse audience of media, global health and development practitioners, congressional staff, and youth. They illustrated the far-reaching impact that USAID—with the help of its implementing partners—has achieved over the years with less than 1 percent of the overall federal budget.

Attendees at The Power of 1 Percent event in Washington, DC, share their views on how a small slice of federal funding makes a big difference in saving lives. Video: PSI/Nathan Golon.

Dr. Ayo Ajayi, PATH’s vice president of Field Programs, and Dr. Alfred Ochola, primary care coordinator for PATH’s Enhanced Diarrheal Disease Control Initiative in Western Kenya, took part in the events. In a panel discussion, Dr. Ajayi spoke about how a small slice of the budget is saving lives in the developing world. He argued for the need to sustain foreign assistance in order to tackle the global health challenges of tomorrow and avoid losing the many impressive gains made to date.

At the congressional briefing, Dr. Ochola discussed how integrated health services are proving successful for providing lifesaving care to women and children in Kenya.

US Representatives Adam Smith (D-WA) and Jim McDermott (D-WA), who are both members of the Congressional Caucus for Effective Foreign Assistance, and Representative Betty McCollum (D-MN), who chairs the Global Health Caucus, joined PATH and our partners at the congressional briefing. They reiterated that foreign assistance is taxpayer money, and it is being spent effectively and efficiently.

American singer-songwriter and actress Mandy Moore, who is also a PSI ambassador for its child survival programs, attended the two-day series and spoke about her work distributing insecticide-treated bed nets in Cameroon.

Other notable participants included:

  • Barbara P. Bush, PSI board member and CEO and co-founder of the Global Health Corps.
  • Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer, US global malaria coordinator.
  • Dr. Ariel Pablos-Méndez, assistant administrator of the Global Health Bureau at USAID.
  • Jonathan Karl, ABC News senior political correspondent. Karl accepted an award on behalf of the television network for its excellence in global health reporting.

More information

Posted November 2, 2011.