The Global Fragility Act – a Bipartisan Leap Forward for Peaceful Prevention

September 5, 2019
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The Global Fragility Act (GFA) is a pilot strategy that would reorient the U.S. Government’s diplomatic policies and assistance for conflict-affected and fragile states by shifting resources to prevention and ensuring a sustainable, evidenced-based approach that links diplomatic policy to development assistance.

The GFA, if passed and implemented, will change the status quo in three key areas:

  • Within six to nine months of enactment, the lead foreign affairs agencies must establish a whole of government “Global Fragility Initiative” and submit a plan to Congress outlining its components. This plan must also include the priority countries that will be the focus of the initiative for at least ten years.
  • By the end of the first year after enactment, the interagency must submit to Congress ten-year plans to align and integrate all diplomatic, development, security assistance and cooperation with respect to each of the five to six priority countries or regions.
  • No later than two years after enactment and every two years thereafter for a decade, the State Department must submit to Congress an unclassified report on progress made and lessons learned in each of the priority countries through the Global Fragility Initiative. The annual report requires public and expert consultation to improve USG efforts

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs intends to hold a hearing on “Fragility in the Sahel” on September 11, 2019. The GFA will be a central issue for discussion during the hearing. The confirmed witnesses include USAID Administrator Mark Green and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale.  The Alliance for Peacebuilding and Mercy Corps will be submitting proposed questions for the record to Subcommittee members on behalf of the 65-member NGO coalition supporting the GFA.  We always welcome new coalition members; interested organizations can contact AfP Manager for Policy and Communications Mena Ayazi at mena@allianceforpeacebuilding.org.

With the Global Fragility Act at a key inflection point, the Alliance welcomes public engagement in the form of op-eds, social media posts, and letters to Congressional representatives in support of peaceful prevention.  Please feel free to use the following points:

  • The United States needs an alternative to costly, securitized, interventionist approaches of the past decades, and real solutions to the vexing problems which drive global instability, from violent extremism to mass migration and fragile states.
  • The GFA offers a way forward that provides for diplomatic and sustained implementation, rooted in evidence, local leadership, and partnership with civil society, to turn the tide.
  • The GFA will save taxpayer dollars and lives, at home and abroad.