The Complex Crises Fund (CCF) supports the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in responding to emergent conflicts and crises.It is a flexible source of funding for USAID to act in countries or regions that demonstrate a high or escalating risk of conflict and instability, or an unanticipated opportunity for progress towards sustainable peace.
The Complex Crises Fund was created as a separate appropriations line-item account by the 111th Congress. Since FY16, CCF funding has remained stagnant at $30 million. In response to increasing violence and conflict situations, there is a need to further expand funding for CCF. CCF provides critical funding in support of the Global Fragility Act, enacted in December 2019. CCF has been used to strengthen capacity of local governments and citizens, address growing risks of instability, prevent and respond to violence, and address insecurity.
Complex Crises Fund in Action
In 2018 and 2019 alone, CCF has been used to respond to emergent crises in Burkina Faso, Bangladesh, Mali, Mozambique, South Sudan, Sudan and Ethiopia.
In Bangladesh, $3.2 million from CCF addressed growing instability and violence resulting from refugee and host community tensions and strengthened social cohesion to reduce future violence. With the arrival of over 745,000 Rohingya fleeing atrocities in Myanmar, the largest and fastest influx of refugees into Bangladesh, tensions between refugee and host communities have been on the rise, with escalating tit-for-tat violence and retributions. CCF funds were quickly mobilized to respond to the emergent violence and help stabilize the situation in 2018.
In Mali, $3 million of CCF funds were used to strengthen communities and build youth resilience to violence and extremism. CCF- funded programs allowed USAID to quickly respond to escalating activities of non-state armed actors and increasing instability in the region. This response included a conflict early warning and response mechanism; activities to engage vulnerable youth in viable alternatives to violence, and programs aimed to strengthen resilience of communities vulnerable to extremism and violence.
Expanding the Complex Crises Fund
For the past five years, the CCF has been remained at only $30M, despite increasing violence and instability. In 2018, the OECD increased the total number of fragile countries to 58, with 15 considered ‘extremely fragile.’ In the Sahel, insurgent attacks constantly threaten the tenuous peace currently holding the region together. A breakdown of the peace agreement and an escalation of sectarian violence in the Central African Republic could further drive forced displacement and destabilize neighboring countries. While in Burundi, the UN found that all eight common risk factors of mass atrocities are clearly present as the country enters a contentious election year. The investment of an additional $20M would allow for two to five more CCF programs per year, at the potential cost of future conflicts.
We request no less than $50 million be appropriated to the Complex Crises Fund in FY21.
CCF is the only tool of its kind. It provides global, flexible, and rapid-response funding to prevent and reduce violence. This funding enables USAID to address emerging conflicts before a crisis develops, saving taxpayer dollars and, ultimately, lives.