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On March 23, Congress passed the FY2024 Further Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R.4366). In doing so, lawmakers protected critical funding for international peacebuilding that FCNL advocates lobbied in support of for over a year.

2023 was a record-breaking year for FCNL’s Advocacy Teams. Over 130 teams organized 520 lobby visits across 48 states, speaking with a strong and clear voice to urge Congress to invest in peace.

FCNL advocates were crucial in protecting funding for peacebuilding programs that prevent conflicts and atrocities worldwide.

Specifically, they lobbied to protect funding for three core accounts that support conflict prevention and peacebuilding: the Complex Crises Fund, Atrocities Prevention, and Reconciliation Programs.

Building on the Advocacy Teams’ tremendous work, participants at FCNL’s November 2023 Quaker Public Policy Institute swarmed Congress with over 130 lobby visits in one day calling for investment in peace under the theme: Local Power, Lasting Peace.

These dedicated efforts from FCNL advocates were crucial in protecting funding for peacebuilding programs that prevent conflicts and atrocities worldwide. In fact, FCNL Advocacy Teams were the only national network of volunteer constituent advocates supporting these three accounts! They worked together to educate Congress on the cost-effectiveness of peacebuilding, share the stories of peacebuilders working around the world, and amplify the impact of critical programs that prevent violence and heal communities.

On March 21, the House and Senate released their final six appropriations bills for FY24 . The package included the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPs) bill that contains international peacebuilding accounts. Despite significant hurdles along the way, the final agreement protected Atrocities Prevention funding at FY23’s level of $6 million, provided $25 million for Reconciliation Programs, and secured over 90% of FY23’s level for the Complex Crises Fund at $55 million. 

Although FCNL welcomes the bill’s investments in peacebuilding, we are disappointed in many other aspects of this package. These include billions of dollars in military assistance, a nearly 20% cut to the Shelter and Services Program to provide transition shelter, support services, and transportation for asylum seekers and migrants, a whopping $825 billion to the Pentagon, and a ban on funding for UNRWA’s vital humanitarian operations for Palestinians in Gaza and throughout the region. 

In the face of proposed deep cuts that resulted in a 6% decrease in funding for foreign assistance programs overall, FCNL advocates persisted. With their prophetic message to “seek peace and pursue it” (Psalms 34:14), they helped protect these critical investments to support peacebuilders working around the world for a world free of war and the threat of war.

Ursala Knudsen-Latta

Ursala Knudsen-Latta

Legislative Director, Peacebuilding

Ursala is the legislative director for peacebuilding. She lobbies Congress to establish peacebuilding as a central goal of U.S. foreign policy.