Take action today to urge Congressional appropriators to invest in critical conflict prevention and civilian protection accounts. They represent relatively small investments that could save billions of dollars and thousands of lives by preventing crises from turning violent, stemming mass atrocities, and avoiding costly interventions, improving our governments ability to mitigate conflict. The initiatives outlined below were put together by a coalition of organizations dedicated to preventing deadly conflict and protecting civilians by strengthening U.S. civilian capacities.
Sustain Funding for International Peacebuilding & Smart Human Security:
State Department and Foreign Operations Appropriations
The Peace Alliance Recommendations:
US Institute of Peace: $39 million
USIP is the independent, nonpartisan conflict management center created by Congress to prevent and mitigate international conflict without resorting to violence. USIP works to save lives, increase the government's ability to deal with conflicts before they escalate, reduce government costs, and enhance our national security. The Administration has proposed $37 million for the US Institute of Peace, a 6 percent reduction in funding. The Peace Alliance supports $39 million for the US Institute of Peace, sustaining FY 2012 Appropriations
Conflict Stabilization Operations: $56.5 million
This account funds the Civilian Response Corps and the new Conflict Stabilization Operations bureau. This year's budget request is $56.5 million, which is an increase from last year's enacted amount. This bureau focuses on preventing deadly conflict by assessing and planning an effective response to countries struggling with or at risk from conflict or civil strife. The Civilian Response Corps will be reduced from 144 members to 68 members as a cost cutting measure. The Peace Alliance supports $56.5 million for Conflict Stabilization Operations. Read a fact sheet to learn more.
Complex Crises Fund: $50 million
This account provides much-needed, unprogrammed money for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to prevent and respond to emerging or unforeseen crises. $50 million is this year's budget request for the CCF, a $10 million increase from last year's enacted amount. In addition to the traditional use of CCF (used in countries/regions that demonstrate a high or escalating risk of conflict or instability), the Administration adds an emphasis on opportunities for "progress in a newly emerging or fragile democracy". This is a clear response to the Arab Spring. The Peace Alliance supports $50 million for the Complex Crises Fund.
Recent crises in Syria, Libya, Peru and many others remind us that mass violence continues to threaten innocent civilians in addition to regional and state stability. It is for these reasons that civilian agencies and international partners must be well-equipped to respond flexibly and decisively to mitigate escalating crises before atrocities occur. Because these difficult economic times require spending every penny of U.S. treasure wisely, we urge careful investment in the aforementioned accounts that will undoubtedly save lives and prevent the United States from incurring costly military and reconstruction expenditures.