In the past, World Refugee Day has often been a time for me to take stock and reflect. It is an opportunity to review the areas of escalation in global displacement, to highlight new challenges to better humanitarian assistance, and to acknowledge where essential programming is working and has improved the lives of the people that we at Refugees International fight for every day.
But we don’t have the luxury of reflection this year. The only response to World Refugee Day 2017 is urgent action.
Today, we face proposed Trump administration funding cuts of 32 percent to the international affairs budget.
We face proposed Trump administration funding cuts of 44 percent to international disaster assistance.
We face proposed Trump administration funding cuts of 18 percent to migration and refugee assistance.
And we face the proposed elimination of Title II food assistance, a crucial resource for lifesaving aid.
Such drastic slashes to humanitarian and development assistance as well as peacekeeping and international organizations at this time of unprecedented global need is incomprehensible. Should these cuts be implemented, the impacts on the most vulnerable populations will be devastating and, unfortunately, deadly.
So on World Refugee Day, I will think about this funding fight with purpose and recognition that the United States has a proud bipartisan history of leading humanitarian responses worldwide. I will raise the stories and the voices of refugees and internally displaced in lockstep with the advocates beside me.