Urge your representative to fund the Global Fragility Act

Abd walks home with his children in Za’atari refugee camp, where Mercy Corps programs provide activities to help families manage the stress of difficult living conditions, and better cope with an uncertain future.

The world is facing an unprecedented global displacement crisis. Over 70 million people are on the run due to one primary reason: violence. Every year, around 535,000 people are killed by armed violence, and by 2030, 80% of those in extreme poverty will be living in violence-prone, fragile nations. Unfortunately, the U.S. government and the international community are not doing enough – only 2 percent of official U.S. development assistance to fragile states goes towards conflict prevention while the vast majority is spent on treating the symptoms rather than the causes. Given that addressing the root causes of violence and conflict is more cost-effective, it is time for the U.S. government to prioritize efforts to prevent violence and human suffering.

Fortunately, Congress passed the Global Fragility Act (GFA) last year to do just that. Under this innovative law, the U.S. government will adopt a new strategy to address the causes of conflict before they balloon into crises. However, implementing this new approach requires resources. It is essential that Congress provide the funding necessary to ensure the success of this important new law.

Please urge your Senators and Representative in Congress to support the implementation of the Global Fragility Act, specifically by providing funding for the Complex Crises Fund, Prevention and Stabilization Fund, and the Multi-Donor Global Fragility Fund. With more people displaced now than any time since the end of the Second World War, we cannot sustainably keep up with the increasing demand of humanitarian needs. Now is the time to prioritize conflict prevention. Now is the time to support the Global Fragility Act.

Dear Member of Congress:

As your constituent, I am writing to urge you to support the successful implementation of the bipartisan Global Fragility Act of 2019 by ensuring that it is adequately funded. Specifically, I request that you support an appropriation of $50 million for the Complex Crises Fund, $200 million for the Prevention and Stabilization Fund, and $25 million for the Multi-Donor Global Fragility Fund to support efforts under the Global Fragility Act.

Currently, 70.8 million people around the world are displaced due to violent conflict. Every year, around 535,000 people are killed due to armed violence, and by 2030, the World Bank estimates that 80% of those in extreme poverty will live in fragile states. Despite this global crisis, the international community and the United States are supporting a reactive approach by treating the symptoms, not the causes, of conflict. Only 2 percent of official development assistance to fragile states go towards conflict prevention, despite rising global instability.

Last December, the Global Fragility Act (GFA), introduced and passed with strong bipartisan support in Congress, was signed into law by the President. This innovative new law reorients U.S. foreign policy and assistance by ensuring that U.S. diplomatic, development, and defense agencies collaborate to reduce violence in at least five high-priority, fragile countries over the next decade. The law requires the U.S. government to adopt a new government-wide plan, the Global Fragility Strategy, to put this new approach into practice. Through investing in efforts such as civil society empowerment, conflict resolution, justice sector reform, good governance, civilian security, and security sector reform, we hope to prevent violence before it occurs.

To ensure that the U.S. government can implement this bold new law, Congress must fund it. We know that investing in prevention is a strategic investment. According to the Institute for Economics and Peace, for every $1 spent on prevention, $16 can be saved in crisis response. That is why I urge you to support an appropriation of $50 million for the Complex Crises Fund, $200 million for the Prevention and Stabilization Fund, and $25 million for the Multi-Donor Global Fragility Fund for the purpose of Global Fragility Act implementation.

To save lives, we must treat the root causes of conflict rather than the symptoms. I sincerely hope that you will stand with the vulnerable people around the world and provide funding for the implementation of the Global Fragility Act.

Sincerely,