New legislation aims to improve stability in the world and address the root causes of violent conflict
WASHINGTON, DC – The global organization Mercy Corps applauds the introduction of the Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act of 2018 by Representatives Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ted Poe (R-TX), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Adam Smith (D-WA), Bill Keating (D-MA) and Paul Cook (R-CA) in the United States Congress. This landmark legislation directs the creation of a U.S. government-wide strategy to reduce global levels of violence by reforming the government’s approach to addressing root causes of violent conflict in 10 countries over 10 years.
“The world is experiencing a frightening 25-year peak in violent conflict, trapping millions of innocent men, women and children in endless cycles of poverty and displacement,” says Neal Keny-Guyer, Chief Executive Officer of Mercy Corps. “At Mercy Corps, we know that by taking a comprehensive approach to relieving drivers of conflict, we can lay a foundation for peace and stability.”
The Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act requires a greater investment by USAID and other government agencies in conflict mitigation, prevention and stabilization programs. It requires inter-agency plans to reduce violence and address drivers of conflict in 10 countries considered fragile, and lays out four concrete funding options to guide negotiations on a sustainable funding mechanism.
“Nearly 66 million people around the world are on the run, primarily because of violence and armed conflict. The need for conflict prevention and peace building has never been more urgent,” says Keny-Guyer. “This bill is a huge first step in the right direction.”
Experience shows that investments in conflict prevention, governance and justice can have tangible impact on peace and stability. For example, a Mercy Corps program in Somalia that gave young people access to education and civic engagement opportunities reduced propensity to participate in and support political violence. New research evaluating Mercy Corps’ youth employability program in Afghanistan found that offering vocational training alongside cash reduced young people’s willingness to support armed opposition groups. Currently, Mercy Corps is implementing 26 peace-building and conflict-management programs in 15 countries. Join us and learn more at mercycorps.org.NR_Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act_14March2018.pdf