Urge Congress to include foreign assistance in response to the COVID-19 crisis

In response to COVID-19, Mercy Corps is meeting the urgent needs of vulnerable communities in Niger (above) and across the world.

Today, we face an unprecedented challenge – both at home and abroad. It has never been more clear how interconnected we are and how much we depend on each other to get through difficult times. This is the very time that we must work towards shared solutions, rather than go it alone.

While we grapple with the impacts of COVID-19 in our own communities, Mercy Corps, alongside partners like the World Health Organization, is also working across the world to make sure that millions of people who were already vulnerable before this crisis started can stay safe and healthy. Now, more than ever, we have to help those most in need. Yet, just last week the Trump Administration announced that it will cut funding to the World Health Organization.

It is counterproductive to cut funding to the World Health Organization while we’re fighting the worst public health emergency of our lifetime. It’s clear that this virus does not respect borders and that we need a truly global response to defeat this pandemic abroad and at home. Right now, Congress is working on legislation to ensure that the United States is equipped to respond to this unprecedented challenge. We must also make sure that we protect the most vulnerable — wherever they are — and stop the spread of this deadly disease.

Urge your Member of Congress to support foreign assistance to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

Dear Member of Congress:

As your constituent, I am writing to urge you to support a strong global response to the COVID-19 crisis. Today we are seeing in real-time how a deadly virus can cripple economies and close borders, threatening international cooperation. Sadly, needs around the world will only continue to rise as we see the cascading impacts of this global pandemic in places like Syria and South Sudan. I therefore urge you to include robust levels of foreign assistance in the forthcoming supplemental appropriations bill to address the health and economic impacts of the disease.

The supplemental must include support to the World Health Organization (WHO) to help stem the spread of the virus worldwide. Congress must also prepare for the follow-on effects of this pandemic. We know that local economies will be devastated as families stay home to prevent the spread. We expect to see greater food insecurity especially in already-hungry communities as borders close and local economies crumble. By funding important foreign assistance accounts like Migration and Refugee Assistance, International Disaster Assistance and the Economic Support Fund, the United States can help mitigate some of the impacts of the crisis and help communities recover as quickly as possible from the pandemic and its economic toll. We must act boldly; the United States will continue to be vulnerable until this virus is eradicated from all corners of the globe.

It has never been more important to show leadership and solidarity – at home and abroad – as we face this unprecedented global crisis together. I urge you to include foreign assistance in forthcoming supplemental appropriations to help defeat this truly global threat.

Sincerely,