Mercy Corps Urges Congress to Pass the Bipartisan Global Fragility Act

Statement from Neal Keny-Guyer, Chief Executive Officer, Mercy Corps

Yesterday a bipartisan group of leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate took bold action to address alarming levels of global violence and the world’s largest displacement crisis in history by reintroducing the Global Fragility Act. Led in the House by Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Bill Keating (D-MA), Francis Rooney (R-FL), Adam Smith (D-WA) and Ann Wagner (R-MO) and in the Senate by Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Todd Young (R-IN), the Global Fragility Act (H.R. 1580 and S. 727) would strengthen the U.S. government’s efforts to prevent and respond to conflict in the world’s most insecure countries.

If enacted into law, the Global Fragility Act would enhance the capacity of the U.S. government to address causes of violence and would establish a government-wide strategy to provide support to communities at risk of violence in at least six countries over ten years. We know that putting this ambitious plan into action will require an investment of resources, and we encourage Congress to appropriate sufficient funding to support implementation of this innovative legislation. This bipartisan legislation was first introduced in 2018 in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, where it passed overwhelming with 376 votes last November.

This landmark legislation would support the recommendations of the United States Institute of Peace Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States, which released its final report on February 26 and highlighted injustice and exclusionary governance as central conditions in places where extremism thrives. This is consistent with findings from our own research that legitimate frustrations over experiences of injustice through discrimination, corruption and abuse drive people to take up arms, including in MaliNigeriaAfghanistan and Somalia. The Global Fragility Act would enable the U.S. government to better support communities and fragile states at greatest risk to address the core grievances fueling radicalization.

We urge both chambers of Congress to take up and pass the Global Fragility Act quickly. Millions of people in the world’s most conflict-prone communities depend on it.