Washington, D.C. (January 21, 2014) – The FY14 Omnibus Spending Bill (Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014), recently signed into law by President Obama is a welcome shift from the continuing resolutions and sequestration in recent years that has cut funding for important foreign investments.
CARE USA, one of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations, applauds Congress for taking the necessary steps to stem the cuts that have been harming the world’s most marginalized people and making new investments in gender-based violence (GBV), food aid reform, humanitarian assistance and holding steady funding for family planning programs.
This funding bill includes significant funding to combat gender-based violence, including child marriage. GBV is a global epidemic that is estimated to impact one in three women around the world, exacerbating the drivers of poverty and thwarting development efforts. CARE applauds the U.S. government’s strong financial commitment to meeting the needs of millions of vulnerable women and girls around the world.
CARE also supports Congress’ continued investments in family planning. Pregnancy is the leading cause of death for young women aged 15 to 19 worldwide. Continued support for voluntary family planning represents a victory for women, girls and families everywhere.
While CARE has strongly opposed cuts to important foreign aid programs in the past, CARE recognizes the fiscal constraints that face the United States. It is in the spirit of fiscal restraint that CARE celebrates funding included for the Food For Peace/Title II program to provide the program greater flexibility to utilize cash and local and regional procurement (LRP) when appropriate, along with commodities. By allowing greater flexibility under Title II for LRP CARE and our partners have the potential to feed millions of additional people without spending an extra dollar, as well as reduce the need to inefficiently monetize commodities to pay for important development programs. Local and regional purchase not only is a cost-effective means of food aid, it also offers a much more efficient humanitarian assistance delivery system than shipping U.S. commodities.
Finally, CARE commends Congress for providing critically needed funding for humanitarian accounts to address the tremendous needs around the world, including the ongoing Syria crisis, placing a tremendous strain on the international affairs budget.
The humanitarian disasters that have devastated the world from Syria to the Philippines have demonstrated the importance of U.S. foreign aid and the FY 14 Omnibus Spending Bill takes the important step of increasing appropriations for humanitarian assistance.
CARE welcomes the FY 14 Omnibus Spending Bill and the foresight shown by Congress through the appropriations process. U.S. foreign aid is an important humanitarian, economic and national security tool, and it is important that Congress not let the United States shrink from its role in the world.
CARE has experts available to talk to the media about food aid reform, family planning, gender-based violence and foreign aid and humanitarian aid.