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Washington, DC – The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), in conjunction with more than 50 other organizations dedicated to promoting peace while advancing and protecting human rights, warned in letters to Congressional appropriators that the recently approved cuts to peacebuilding, human rights, humanitarian aid, migration, foreign climate aid, and poverty-focused development assistance is a sure-fire recipe for instability, heightened insecurity, and suffering. 

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The impacts of these issues are deeply interconnected and perhaps the greatest threats of our time. Congressional appropriators must reaffirm our leadership on the global stage with robust funding that prioritizes international and national security on top of prosperity for all.  

Leaders of the groups spoke out as well:

“The House foreign assistance proposal is a dangerous precedent of abandoning our neighbors. There is a deep intersection between climate impact, conflict, poverty, sociopolitical deprivations, and displacement — abandoning solutions for one worsens them all,” said Bridget Moix, General Secretary at the Friends Committee on National Legislation. “The United States has a longstanding commitment of compassionate aid that simultaneously cares for the most vulnerable and promotes global security and vital communities. The United States must live up to its values. We urge Congress to prioritize funding a full spectrum of life-sustaining programs and resources.”

“As we struggle to keep pace with dire needs for humanitarian assistance, it is critical to increase investment in multi-lateral mechanisms that provide life-saving services and resources to conflict-affected populations. The US’s contributions to the United Nations regular budget, key UN agencies, UN country mandates and coordinating mechanisms help ensure that direct humanitarian assistance is delivered where it is needed most. Now is the time for the United States to step up its role in international cooperation and increase support for multilateral crisis prevention and response,” said Sarah Costa, Executive Director, Women’s Refugee Commission. “The Women’s Refugee Commission calls upon the Senate Appropriations Committee to maintain the current budget for multilateral foreign assistance and continue investing in the SFOPs subcommittee by the Committee’s 302(b) allocations, which is our strongest pipeline for inclusive crisis prevention, response, peacebuilding and sustainable recovery.” 

“The current funding cuts proposed in the House Appropriation Subcommittee’s SFOPs bill are incredibly disappointing and threaten serious consequences on the global community if enacted. At a time when the world is facing the most violent conflicts since the Second World War, it is crucial that the United States invest in life-saving protection, peacebuilding, and humanitarian efforts,” said Megan Rodgers, U.S. Policy and Advocacy Manager, Nonviolent Peaceforce.

“When we know children and families are thirsty and hungry, and we know we can do something about it, it is incomprehensible that Congress would choose to cut the small foreign assistance budget. Doing so is a political charade that undercuts U.S. best interests, harms global progress, and is fundamentally against every faith,” said Susan K Barnett, Founder, Faiths for Safe Water.

 “As followers of Jesus, we strive to be in the world but not of it. The State Department, Foreign Operations and Related Programs (SFOPs) appropriations bill should be a tremendous opportunity to be in the world and contribute to the common good, something Catholics see as a responsibility. But the House Appropriations SFOPs Subcommittee’s proposed cuts would drastically weaken U.S. participation in essential multilateral forums, peace efforts, and compassionate aid programs. At a time of dramatic global changes and challenges, the United States needs to stay in these lifesaving and peace-building efforts,” said Susan Gunn, Director, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.

 “As Franciscans, we believe in taking constructive and vigorous action to restore the health of our beautiful planet and to bring peace to its people. We ask members of Congress to protect Foreign Ops funding critically needed to help poor countries mitigate the devastating impacts of climate crises and to build peace actively across the world in zones of conflict,” said Michele Dunne, Executive Director, Franciscan Action Network.

“As forced displacement around the world continues to reach record highs, it is vital that the U.S. demonstrate global humanitarian leadership and invest robustly in life-saving State Department programs and accounts,” said Danilo Zak, Acting Director of Policy and Advocacy at Church World Service. “But rather than allocating vital additional resources to support those in need of food and a safe place to call home, members of the House of Representatives are instead moving forward with dramatic spending cuts for crucial programs that neglect the needs of the most vulnerable. It is imperative that Congress reject proposed cuts and increase spending towards programs that uphold our nation’s long legacy of aid and welcome.” 

“At a time when more than 108 million people are currently forcibly displaced from their homes, a cut in funding by the House of Representatives demonstrates an abdication of US leadership,” said Joan Rosenhauer, Executive Director of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. “The US must do more, not less, to meet the growing global need as refugees face the loss of access to lifesaving programs that provide food, water, shelter, healthcare, and education.” 

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Tim McHugh

Timothy McHugh

Director of Media Relations

Tim leads organizational efforts to communicate about issues, victories, priorities, and updates through all available news channels – specifically the major media outlets.