47 Organizations Urge Congress to Prevent Possible Rescission of Foreign Aid Funds

August 13, 2019
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August 9, 2019

Dear Members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees:

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. 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.

Sincerely,
1. Alliance for Peacebuilding

2. Alliance for Middle East Peace

3. American Jewish World Service

4. Basic Education Coalition

5. Better World Campaign

6. The Bridgeway Group

7. Catalyst for Peace

8. Charity & Security Network

9. Colors of Connection

10. Cure Violence Global

11. Darfur Women Action Group

12. Department of Peace Operations (DPO)- PATRIR

13. Educators’ Institute for Human Rights

14. Enough Project

15. Envision Zimbabwe Women’s Trust

16. FHI 360 17. Friends Committee on National Legislation

18. Global Campaign for Education-US

19. GPPAC Foundation

20. Green String Network

21. Humanity United Action

22. InterAction

23. International Alert

24. International Civil Society Action Network

25. Invisible Children

26. Jewish World Watch

27. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice

28. Leadership Conference of Women Religious

29. Maryknoll Office for Global Concern

30. Mercy Corps

31. Minnesota Peace Project

32. Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute

33. Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies

34. Nonviolent Peaceforce

35. Nuru International

36. Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, Church of the Brethren

37. Outward Bound center for Peacebuilding

38. PartnersGlobal

39. Peace Direct 40. Peace Research and Education Program, New York University

41. Rural Education and Agriculture Development Organization (READO)

42. Search for Common Ground

43. Stop Genocide Now

44. Win Without War

45. Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security

46. World Learning / School for International Training

47. Young-adult Empowerment Initiative