Refugees International and 30 Organizations Call on Congress to Prioritize Funding for the State, Foreign Operations Bill

Dear Chairman Shelby and Vice Chairman Leahy:

Thank you for your leadership in the fight against global poverty, conflict, and disease. We the undersigned international, implementing and advocacy nonprofit organizations respectfully request that in FY 2020 you prioritize funding for the State, Foreign Operations bill and provide a 302(b) allocation of at least $57.4 billion. Within this increase, we ask that Congress appropriates meaningful increases for good governance programs and poverty-focused development and humanitarian programs.

Additional investment in the State, Foreign Operations bill is crucial, as the need continues to grow. Cyclone Kenneth is causing severe flooding, where just last month Cyclone Idai left at least three million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Since the beginning of 2019, more than 100,000 suspected cases of cholera have been reported among children under the age of 15 in Yemen. Progress against malaria has levelled off, with the number of deaths remaining virtually unchanged at 435,000 annually. The WHO reports that no significant gains were made in reducing malaria deaths during 2015-2017, and tuberculosis now kills 1.6 million a year. Our bilateral humanitarian and global health programs, alongside multilateral programs such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, are critical for saving lives, improving resilience, and building healthy economies.

Funding directed at foreign assistance programming is not only the right thing to do, but it is good for Americans. Investments promote a country’s journey to self-reliance, help build stable societies, support peace and advance American values. Stable societies are better trading partners, which create and expand new markets for U.S. exports and strengthen overall U.S. national security. U.S. investment in foreign assistance is effective. Global poverty is at an all-time low, Feed the Future achieved a 23 percent drop in poverty and 32 percent reduction in stunting in its target countries, and between 2000-2016 U.S. investments contributed to an estimated 53 million lives saved from tuberculosis.

We appreciate your continued support of the State, Foreign Operations bill, and ask for your support of a 302(b) allocation of at least $57.4 billion in FY 2020.

Sincerely,

Undersigned Organizations

  • Action Against Hunger

  • American Jewish World Service

  • Bank Information Center

  • Basic Education Coalition

  • Bethany Christian Services

  • Better World Campaign

  • Bread for the World

  • CARE

  • Church World Service

  • Feed the Children

  • Global Communities

  • Global Health Council

  • Habitat for Humanity International

  • InterAction

  • IntraHealth International

  • Internews

  • International Medical Corps

  • Mercy Corps

  • National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International

  • ONE

  • Oxfam America

  • PATH

  • Plan International USA

  • Refugees International

  • RESULTS

  • Save the Children

  • Solidarity Center

  • United Nations Association

  • WaterAid

  • World Food Program USA

  • World Vision