Peacebuilding Coalition Urges Congress to Protect Foreign Assistance Funding
On August 9, FCNL and 44 other organizations in the Alliance for Peacebuilding sent a letter to House appropriators, urging them to protect funding for foreign assistance. The administration has attempted to freeze $4 billion of these congressionally-approved funds. This would impact the ability of the U.S. to prevent and manage conflict abroad.
Dear Members of the House Committee on Appropriations:
The 100-plus member Alliance for Peacebuilding (AfP) is the leading global network for organizations working to end violent conflict and sustain peace worldwide. Our members include some of the world’s largest development organizations, most innovative academic institutions, and most influential humanitarian and faith-based groups. We build coalitions in key areas of strategy and policy to elevate the entire peacebuilding field, tackling issues too large for any one organization to address alone.
We are writing to express our profound concern about the administration’s order to freeze as much as $4 billion in congressionally-approved funds for foreign assistance, and about reports that it may be preparing to request a rescission of these funds. We urge you to use your appropriations power to reject a potential rescission and to ensure that the funds are released in a timely fashion, as intended by Congress. The hold placed on these funds come at a time when deaths from organized violence have risen over 230 percent globally in the past 10 years. Just fifteen years ago, approximately 80% of humanitarian aid went to helping the victims of natural disasters, but today that ratio is reversed, with 80% of aid going to meet the needs of victims of violent conflict. Wars and violence have triggered the worst displacement and refugee crisis ever recorded, displacing 68.5 million people from their homes. Violent conflict also fuels violent extremism. Over 99% of all deaths caused by terrorism in 2017 occurred in countries involved in violent conflict or with high levels of political terror.
This effort targets as little as 0.09% of the Federal Budget, but this small sliver represents 7% of the funding for the civilian national security tools of the United States. Cutting U.S. diplomacy and development programs undermines national security, damages economic interests, and weakens U.S. moral leadership in the world. Evidence proves that such measures would ultimately risk American lives at home, cost the U.S. taxpayer more in the long run, and endanger America’s military overseas.
This potential rescission would have a significant impact on the ability of the United States to prevent and manage violent conflict worldwide with serious consequences for the security of American citizens at home. Additionally, it would undermine the programs that are already established on the ground that further the national security interests of the United States abroad and are critical to preventing violent conflict.
Once again, we urge you to use your appropriations power to reject this potential rescission of critical foreign assistance.
Alliance for Peacebuilding
Alliance for Middle East Peace
American Jewish World Service
Basic Education Coalition
Better World Campaign
The Bridgeway Group
Catalyst for Peace
Charity & Security Network
Colors of Connection
Cure Violence Global
Department of Peace Operations (DPO)-PATRIR
Educators’ Institute for Human Rights
Envision Zimbabwe Women's Trust
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Global Campaign for Education-US
Green String Network
Humanity United Action
International Civil Society Action Network
Jewish World Watch
Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Maryknoll Office for Global Concern
Minnesota Peace Project
Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute
Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, Church of the Brethren
Outward Bound center for Peacebuilding
Peace Research and Education Program, New York University
Rural Education and Agriculture Development Organization (READO)
Search for Common Ground
Stop Genocide Now
Win Without War
Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security
World Learning / School for International Training
Young-adult Empowerment Initiative