Media CenterCRS Thanks U.S. House Subcommittee for Prioritizing Foreign Aid
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Catholic Relief Services
WASHINGTON, DC, July 17, 2017 – Catholic Relief Services (CRS) thanks the House Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs for prioritizing and protecting the poor and the vulnerable in their Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations bill.
“Given the inadequate top-line allocation given to the Subcommittee and the Administration budget proposal’s draconian cuts, we are pleased to see the subcommittee prioritize humanitarian and development programming,” said Bill O’Keefe, CRS’ Vice President for Advocacy. “Nevertheless, with 65 million displaced persons and ongoing conflicts around the world, we are concerned that the subcommittee’s proposed bill will not meet the extreme needs that we see around the world.”
The House State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs bill, which passed through the subcommittee last Thursday, provides $47.4 billion to foreign assistance, $10 billion below Fiscal Year 2017 enacted levels. The full Appropriations Committee will markup the bill this Wednesday, July 19. CRS and other peer agencies have continuously asked Congress to protect the nearly $60 billion in diplomacy, development, and humanitarian funding at a time of both unprecedented humanitarian need and real progress in the fight against extreme poverty.
“The U.S. government has led the world for decades in responding to global poverty and helping families and communities improve their own lives,” said O’Keefe. “A reduction in funding to the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development will only make it more difficult to serve the most marginalized. We ask the full committee to oppose any amendments that reduce funding further to development or humanitarian aid.”
The Senate has yet to markup their version of the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs bill but is expected to do so in the near future. Congress has until September 30, 2017 to pass Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations.
“We look forward to continue to work with Congress throughout the appropriations process to strongly fund poverty-focused development and humanitarian accounts to adequately address the needs we face around the world,” said O’Keefe. “If we hope to mitigate violence, reduce poverty, and foster stronger communities, we cannot step back from our global leadership.”
Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, please visit crs.org or crsespanol.org and follow CRS on social media: Facebook, @CatholicRelief, @CRSnews, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.