U.S. Budget Cuts Threaten Global Poverty Reduction Efforts

March 23, 2024

Mercy Corps Vice-President of Global Policy and Advocacy, Kate Phillips-Barrasso, responds to FY2024 funding agreement 

“Slashing hundreds of millions in resilience funding from the Development Assistance and Economic Support Fund accounts in the FY24 funding package could lead to more setbacks in reducing global poverty and ultimately create the need for more expensive and extreme humanitarian interventions in the future. 

“While Mercy Corps is relieved to see increases in core humanitarian resources to meet urgent needs, more is still required – and the prohibition on funding for UNRWA threatens to further curtail the already insufficient response to the catastrophic humanitarian crisis in Gaza. UNRWA plays a crucial role in delivering international aid in Gaza and supporting hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians in their facilities, a role that no other international organization is currently equipped to fulfill.  

“Humanitarian and development funding already accounts for less than 1% of the U.S. federal budget and delivers an exceptional return on investment in both economic and security terms. Drastic cuts to development resources are short-sighted as the effects of climate change, conflict, and economic instability continue to exacerbate needs, disrupt livelihoods, and contribute to worsening displacement and food insecurity in many parts of the world. 

“Congress must swiftly pass the requested supplemental funding to meet emergency humanitarian needs, and as it turns to consideration of the FY25 budget, members must prioritize providing adequate funding for humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding work.”