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President’s Budget Insufficient to meet growing Global Humanitarian needs

Congress should reverse cuts to Humanitarian Assistance and Support Increases in Development Funding

Washington, DC – WEBWIRE

The global humanitarian organization Mercy Corps says the Obama administration’s FY2016 budget request is a mixed bag for the world’s most vulnerable people.

On the one hand, the Administration calls for a 20 percent cut in funding for refugees and an eight percent cut for internally displaced people. On the other hand, development accounts, which can address the root causes of fragility in countries frequently affected by conflict and natural disasters, receive a significant increase in funding.

“Congress must reject the proposed cuts to humanitarian assistance,” says Andrea Koppel, vice president of Global Engagement and Policy at Mercy Corps. “With more than 51 million people displaced from their homes, the highest number since the end of World War II, and crises in Syria, South Sudan and other countries showing no signs of abating, the U.S. must maintain its leadership role in responding to acute needs in fragile states.”

Despite the disappointing proposed cuts, the administration’s budget does increase Development Assistance by 20 percent and Economic Support Funds by 30 percent. By supporting these increases, Congress can promote economic development and greater resilience for communities in the developing world, helping families lift themselves out of poverty.

Additionally, the administration’s $20 million request for Local and Regional Procurement, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, will strengthen local agriculture and fill nutritional gaps for at-risk populations. A proposal to increase the flexibility of international food aid would also provide lifesaving assistance to hungry families around the world at no additional cost to U.S. taxpayers.

“As Congress moves through the FY2016 budget and appropriations process, important decisions need to be made,” says Koppel. “Reversing cuts to the Migration and Refugee Assistance and International Disaster Assistance accounts, and improving efficiencies in food assistance, are two of the most urgent actions to help meet growing humanitarian needs around the world.”

About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a leading global humanitarian agency saving and improving lives in the world’s toughest places.


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