The House of Representatives and the Senate will soon decide how much money will be spent on foreign aid in the coming year, including funding for lifesaving humanitarian assistance programs for some of the world's most vulnerable populations.
Yet, despite the fact that more people around the world are displaced by conflict than at any other time in the last 18 years — including more than 6 million affected by Syria's ongoing civil war — the House of Representatives proposes a spending cut of 40% from the previous year for internally displaced people and 29% for refugees.
With more people around the world displaced by conflict than at any other time in the last 18 years, we simply cannot afford to scale back our humanitarian assistance programs. Needs are particularly acute with the strain that the ongoing crisis in Syria has placed on humanitarian accounts. In Syria alone, the crisis has displaced and affected millions, and neighboring countries face economic and political challenges resulting from strains that the steady flow of refugees places on their infrastructure and basic service capacity.
I am a constituent who cares about protecting these populations and maintaining our commitment to humanitarian assistance. As Congress debates the FY 14 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, I ask you to prioritize support to humanitarian accounts and include the Senate funding levels for the following accounts in any final conference agreement or Continuing Resolution:
- $2.9 billion for the State Department's Migration and Refugee Assistance Account (MRA) that supports refugee populations around the world.
- $1.6 billion for USAID's International Disaster Assistance Account that provides global support for shelter, education and medicine for families internally displaced inside their own countries and impacted by natural and man-made disasters.
Thank you for supporting this request and ensuring that the US does not turn its back on the world's most vulnerable people.