Mercy Corps Urges Congress to Allocate Lifesaving Funds in FY2017 Budget

August 19, 2016

Greater U.S. leadership needed to address unprecedented global displacement and humanitarian needs

WASHINGTON, DC – With 65 million people displaced from their homes, more than at any other time in recorded history, the global organization Mercy Corps and 33 other international agencies implore the United States Congress to commit sufficient resources to meet these vast and dire humanitarian needs through increased funding in the FY2017 appropriations bill or through an emergency funding bill.

“There is no end in sight to the protracted conflicts responsible for most of this massive human displacement,” says Andrea Koppel, Vice President of Global Engagement and Policy at Mercy Corps. “With the UN’s $21.6 billion humanitarian appeal only 30 percent funded, the United States must set an example for the rest of the world by increasing funding for lifesaving assistance for these most vulnerable people.”

Mercy Corps requests that the FY2017 appropriations bill:

  • Restores International Disaster Assistance to $2.8 billion to ensure that more of the 40.8 million people displaced inside their own countries receive lifesaving aid. This funding supports the U.S. response inside Syria, where 6.6 million Syrians, roughly half of all Syrians remaining, have fled their homes and are still trying to survive.
  • Includes at least $1.6 billion for Food for Peace, which is the government’s main tool to provide emergency food assistance for hungry families. Just last year, Food for Peace assisted more than 58 million people in 41 countries experiencing crisis, meeting urgent hunger needs while also helping vulnerable communities develop their own food security for the near future.
  • Preserves at least $3 billion for the Migration and Refugee Assistance Account, a level of funding supported by both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. The rising poverty rate among refugee populations is alarming – in Jordan, 90 percent of registered Syrian refugees in urban areas live below the national poverty line. Boosts to the MRA account would support these and other refugee populations.

Beyond funding desperately needed lifesaving assistance, Mercy Corps urges Congress to increase funding for conflict mitigation and prevention to tackle the underlying causes of conflict forcing people to flee. Congress should fund the Complex Crises Fund at no less than $30 million, which is the only global flexible funding mechanism that enables the U.S. Agency for International Development to support agile and community-led stabilization efforts to prevent crises from escalating.

PDF icon NR_FY17BudgetAppropriations_19August2016.pdf