Poll says supporting global health is the right thing to do

March / April 2016 | Volume 15, Issue 2

Nearly half of Americans say the U.S. should continue to fund global health initiatives "because it's the right thing to do," a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation has found.

About 46 percent of respondents say the U.S. has a moral responsibility to fund health initiatives in developing countries. Significantly smaller percentages say enhanced security, economic opportunities, or the country's image around the world are key reasons for U.S. involvement in global health efforts.

Additionally, a majority of Americans - 63 percent - say spending on global health protects Americans by preventing spread of disease; 53 percent say it helps make people and communities in developing countries more self-sufficient; and just over half believe it improves the U.S. image around the world.

U.S. funding for global health has hovered at around $10 billion since Fiscal Year 2010. An additional $3.7 billion was allocated in FY 2015 for the Ebola response.

The Kaiser poll found that Americans think, on average, that nearly a third of the federal budget goes to foreign aid. Only three percent correctly stated that the actual budget allocation for foreign aid is 1 percent or less.

More Information

 

Full description of bar graph of responses to, "Why should the U.S. invest in global health?" with reason and percentage:

Because it's the right thing to do 46%
To improve our diplomatic relationships 14%
To help ensure U.S. national security 14%
To help the U.S. economy by creating new markets for U.S. businesses 11%
To improve the U.S.'s image around the world 9%​​​

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