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5 Big U.S. Funding Wins for CARE’s Work Around the Globe

A group of kids cheer and raise their hands in celebration.

Photo: CARE Niger

Photo: CARE Niger

From commitments to women’s health, investments in global health security, and funding to combat global hunger, the latest House State-Foreign Operations Bill is encouraging for CARE and its advocates fighting to build back better from COVID-19.

The House Appropriations Committee released its FY22 State-Foreign Operations (SFOPs) Bill in late June at a time when COVID-19 cases and its secondary impacts — like rising hunger, health care interruptions, and poverty — continue to surge in places around the world. The funding levels in the FY22 SFOPs Bill are critical to ensuring we can build back better post-COVID and advance overall global health, food security, and women’s rights. The latest bill includes $62.2 billion in overall funding – a 12% increase from the previous year — and includes several major wins for CARE’s life-saving work around the world.

Here are five big wins we’re celebrating from the FY22 SFOPs Bill.

1. Commitments to advance women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights

Women and girls everywhere still face huge hurdles to accessing safe and effective reproductive health care. The FY22 SFOPs Bill includes historic funding levels and policy language including $70 million for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the largest provider of reproductive health care globally and a leader in ending preventable child and maternal deaths. Additionally, the Bill permanently repeals the Global Gag Rule, a dangerous and harmful U.S. policy that prohibits organizations that receive U.S. assistance from promoting or providing referrals for abortion.

2. Investments in global health to build back from COVID-19 and prevent future pandemics

COVID-19 has made clear the importance of strong investments in global health security for the future, and the FY22 SFOPs Bill reinforces that with $1 billion for global health security to help combat COVID-19 worldwide and prevent future pandemics. CARE is advocating for investments that will help strengthen vaccine delivery infrastructure, fuel vaccine education campaigns, and support frontline health workers — 70% of whom are women — with training and fair pay.

A woman healthcare worker adjusts protective glasses on her face. She is wearing a white protective suit, a blue facemask, blue gloves, and clear protective goggles.

3. Funding increases to end gender-based violence and advance gender equality

One in three women worldwide will experience physical or sexual violence in her lifetime. The FY22 SFOPs Bill includes $200 million to combat gender-based violence, which can include rape, domestic violence, and exploitation, and $200 million for the Gender Equity and Equality Action Fund (GEEA). The spread of COVID-19 has caused a double pandemic for women and girls as lockdowns keep survivors of violence from seeking help and resources are diverted to ending COVID. But CARE advocates know that when women have the chance to shape how their needs and safety are addressed during crises like COVID-19, their rights are more likely to be protected. This funding and proposed bill language will provide necessary resources to address incidents of gender-based violence immediately and holistically.

4. Bumps to programs that combat global hunger and malnutrition

As COVID-19 continues to have a devastating impact on global hunger and food insecurity, the FY22 SFOPs Bill provides strong funding for international food assistance programs like the Global Food Security Strategy (GFSS) and Feed the Future. An estimated 132 million more people will face hunger because of COVID-19 and 41 million people are at risk of famine. CARE, with the help of programs like Feed the Future, has helped kids get access to nutritious food, increase people’s resiliency to climate change, and get food and nutrition support in emergencies. CARE will continue to advocate for even greater increases in nutrition funding as discussions on appropriations continue.

A portrait of a young Honduran woman wearing a floral facemask.
CARE / Daniel Romana

5. Humanitarian assistance for people caught in crisis

Compared to a decade ago, there are increasingly more humanitarian crises, impacting the lives of more people, across the globe. Together with the spread of COVID-19, global needs are rapidly outpacing resources — putting millions of lives at risk. The FY22 SFOPs Bill provides $8.5 billion for humanitarian assistance, specifically Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA), U.S. Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance (ERMA), and International Disaster Assistance (IDA). The funding level is a 9% (or $700 million) increase compared to the previous year.

CARE advocates were critical in achieving these historic wins, and their energy and advocacy are needed now more than ever to urge members of U.S. Congress in the House and Senate to support these critical investments and pass spending bills that will advance CARE’s work around the world. CARE is encouraged by the FY22 House SFOPs Bill and will continue fighting for funding that saves lives. Want to join the fight? Join us for Amplify Your Voice 2021 to meet virtually with key House and Senate offices and urge for action on CARE’s critical issues.

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