“The world spends just $1 on conflict prevention for every $1,885 it spends on military budgets. Here in the U.S., less than 2% of income tax goes to civilian foreign affairs agencies; meanwhile, 39% goes to the military. And though taxpayers provide almost $1 billion per year for military academies, they pay only about $40 million for the United States Institute of Peace— the only U.S. agency dedicated to conflict prevention and peacebuilding.”*
Right now, Committees in the House and Senate are starting to draft the 2016 Budget, and acting now, at the early stage of the process, few things are decided and we have a much greater opportunity to influence the process. But that means that we have to act right now to make sure important Peacebuilding programs will be fully funded in 2016.
Defense contractors and others spend $tens of millions every year on lobbyists. YOU are the peace constituency to champion peacebuilding as a priority.
Your voice matters. When Representatives and Senators get messages about programs like these, they take note. Hearing their constituents say that peacebuilding is important will help convince them in a way no defense industry lobbyist ever could. But you have to let them know that peace is important to you.
Below is an overview of the three key areas we are supporting. Much more needs to be done, both within these agencies and in other areas, but these are all positive steps in the right direction for our nation.
✔ Complex Crises Fund:
For 2016, we’re asking for $100 million for the Complex Crises Fund. The Complex Crises Fund (CCF) provides unprogrammed money for the State Department and USAID to ‘prevent and respond to unforeseen crises’. In just a few short years, it has become one of the most highly demanded tools in the US foreign policy toolkit, allowing the State Department and USAID to make rapid investments in prevention, stabilization, and crisis response. In 2014, funds from the CCF have been used for conflict mitigation between refugees and hosts in Jordan, and community peacebuilding in the Central African Republic. Urge Congress to increase the CCF to $100 million.
✔ Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations:
We’re also asking that Congress fully fund the President’s Budget Request for $39 million for the State Department Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations. The Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) engages in conflict intervention and prevention by using locally driven analysis to break cycles of violence. In 2013, they were key in preventing major outbreaks of election violence in Kenya, and have numerous other ongoing engagements. Sign the petition and ask Congress to fully fund the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations.
✔ United States Institute of Peace:
We would also like to see Congress fully fund the President’s Budget Request for the United States Institute of Peace of $35.3 million. The US Institute of Peace does training and research on Peacebuilding that no one else in the US Government does. USIP routinely engages with communities on the ground in conflicts around the world, trying to build stronger societies and find more peaceful paths forward. Tell Congress to fully fund the President’s Budget Request for USIP at $35.3 million.
These, and numerous other important peacebuilding efforts, risk losing funding if you don’t act.