Americans are more supportive of U.S. spending to improve global health than other foreign aid spending, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll. Improving access to clean water and children’s health top the list of global health priorities for most Americans, with 57 percent saying improving access to clean water should be top priority, and 53 percent saying children’s health, including promoting vaccinations, should be top priority.
Thirty-nine percent of those polled say preventing and treating HIV/AIDS should be top priority, and 32 percent say preventing and treating tuberculosis should be top priority.
Americans continue to vastly overestimate the proportion of the U.S. federal budget spent on foreign aid, with a majority of those polled saying on average, 26 percent of the federal budget is spent on foreign aid. Only one in 20 people correctly state that 1 percent or less of the budget is spent on foreign aid.
When told that less than 1 percent of the budget is spent on foreign aid, the percentage of people saying too much of the budget is spent on foreign aid drops from 56 percent to 28 percent, and the percentage of people saying too little is spent on foreign aid jumps from 11 percent to 26 percent.
Seventy percent of Americans think spending money on improving global health helps protect the health of Americans, while 60 percent say it helps to improve the image of the U.S. globally. Thirty seven percent say spending on global health helps U.S. national security and 36 percent say it helps the U.S. economy.