Support the Complex Crises Fund - 28 Organizations Agree
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To: Members of the Senate State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee:
We write as the Prevention and Protection Working Group, a coalition of human rights, religious, humanitarian, anti-genocide, peace and other organizations dedicated to improving U.S. government policies and civilian capacities to prevent violent conflict, mass atrocities and protect civilians threatened by such crises. On May 9, the House State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee marked up the FY13 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. We write to express deep concern over several provisions that, if enacted, would significantly hamper the United States' ability to prevent violent conflict, mass atrocities and protect civilians around the world. Specifically, we urge you to reject the House subcommittee's deep cuts and fully fund the Administration's FY13 request for the following accounts:
- Complex Crises Fund:
The CCF is a crucial source of unprogrammed, innovative, and flexible funding for civilian agencies, without which the State Department and USAID would be less capable of acting quickly when conflicts escalate or undertaking rapid stabilization, prevention, and crisis response activities. The House subcommittee eliminated funding for the CCF in its FY13 bill. The CCF has been used in places such as Sri Lanka, Kenya, and Yemen. We urge you to fully fund the President's FY2013 request of $50 million for the CCF.
- Conflict Stabilization Operations:
The CSO bureau was created out of the 2010 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, and funds the Civilian Response Corps (CRC) and the former Office for the Coordinator of Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS). Nearly thirty CRC members worked in South Sudan in advance of the 2011 referendum, strengthening the State Department's efforts to track and monitor the security status. This bureau focuses on preventing violent conflict by assessing and planning an effective response to countries struggling with or at risk from protracted conflict. The House subcommittee approved funding for $43.5 million, a $13 million decrease in funding from the FY13 request. We urge you to fully fund the President's FY13 request of $56.5 million for the CSO.
- UN Funding and Peacekeeping Operations:
Professional, well-equipped international peacekeepers reduce the burden on the U.S. by acting as a key stabilizing force at a fraction of the cost of U.S. intervention - a mere 12 cents to the dollar according to the Government Accountability Office. UN Peacekeepers play a vital role in protecting civilians from harm, preventing displacement, restoring and maintaining rule of law and enabling post-conflict political and economic reconstruction. A recent poll found that 80% of Americans believe in a strong US role at the UN, and nearly two-thirds of Americans believe the U.S. should pay our dues in full and on time. The subcommittee approved $1.828 billion for Contributions to International Peacekeeping Activities (CIPA) and $1.411 billion for Contributions to International Organizations (CIO), which would put the U.S. back into arrears at the UN. We urge you to fully fund CIPA at $2.164 billion and CIO at $1.57 billion to meet peacekeeping needs and fulfill U.S. financial obligations to the UN.
We also urge that funding for conflict prevention and civilian protection not come at the expense of other effective humanitarian and development funding, which works together to serve the common goal of building a safer and more prosperous world. Recent crises in Syria and Libya remind us that mass violence continues to threaten civilians in addition to regional and state stability. It is for these reasons that civilian agencies and international partners must be well-equipped to respond flexibly and decisively to mitigate escalating crises before atrocities occur. Because these difficult economic times require prudent spending, we urge careful investment in the aforementioned accounts that will undoubtedly save lives and prevent the United States from incurring costly military and reconstruction expenditures.
3P Human Security
Alliance for Peacebuilding
American Jewish World Service
Amnesty International USA
Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation
Better World Campaign
Church World Service
Citizens for Global Solutions
Conference of Major Superiors of Men
Foreign Policy in Focus
Franciscan Action Network
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Georgia Coalition to Prevent Genocide
Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
Jewish World Watch
Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, University of San Diego
Kurdish Human Rights Watch
San Francisco Bay Area Darfur Coalition
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
United to End Genocide