Three Things You Should Know About Peacebuilding Funding for 2017
On May 5, Congress passed the FY 2017 spending bill funding the government through September. Despite President Trump’s request to cut funding for the Department of State and the U.S. Agency of International Development by nearly 30%, Congress fully funded peacebuilding accounts. Below are three victories for peacebuilding within the 2017 spending bill.
1. Peacebuilding accounts were either funded at previous amounts or were increased.
This includes funding for the Human Rights and Democracy Fund at the Department of State, the U.S. Institute of Peace, and Conflict Management and Mitigation at USAID. This sends a clear signal to the administration that funding for prevention is a priority for Congress. We are hopeful that we can build upon this congressional leadership as we shift our advocacy to funding for 2018. Urge your representatives to support full funding for the International Affairs Budget for FY18.
2. The Complex Crises Fund received $30 million, despite being specifically targeted for elimination in the White House Budget blueprint.
Despite being eliminated in the House spending bill and in the two-page White House Budget Proposal, the Complex Crises Fund received that same amount of funding as it did in 2016. The Complex Crises Fund is a crucial tool in the conflict prevention toolkit as it is the only rapid response mechanism that enables the U.S. government to prevent and respond to emerging or unforeseen crises. The Complex Crises Fund has been used to prevent violence in 19 countries.
3. There was an additional $10 million dollars appropriated for atrocities prevention.
For the first time, an additional $10 million was appropriated for the work of the Atrocities Prevention Board. An additional $500,000 set aside to train personnel to effectively prevent conflict and atrocities.
These funding victories are crucial so the U.S. government can not only respond to current crises, but also prevent future conflicts. When considering the national security, economic, and human costs once violence breaks out, prioritizing peacebuilding and prevention is both morally imperative and key to protecting U.S. national interests. We hope that Congress will continue to support robust funding for the International Affairs Budget.
Read the Prevention and Protection Working Group’s letter urging the Senate and House Appropriations Committees to fund conflict prevention in FY18.