Statement by Dafna Rand, Vice President of Policy and Research at Mercy Corps
Washington, DC – The global organisation Mercy Corps applauds today’s historic bipartisan passage of the Global Fragility Act (as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020) by the 116th United States Congress, which establishes the first-ever comprehensive U.S. government approach to preventing global conflict and instability.
The Global Fragility Act will ensure that U.S. diplomatic, development and defence agencies are working together to reduce violence in high-priority, fragile countries over a 10-year period. The Act will dedicate £1 billion over the next five years to build peace, prevent conflict and address violent extremism. This approach will also save U.S. taxpayers’ money by addressing conflicts at their local roots – before U.S. military intervention is necessary.
At Mercy Corps, we see the consequences of conflict every day. We are providing lifesaving assistance to many of the 70 million people fleeing war, persecution and conflict worldwide. Over 550,000 civilians are dying every year in places like Syria, Yemen and South Sudan – creating unprecedented levels of humanitarian need.
Mercy Corps helped develop the Global Fragility Act in 2016 in conjunction with the original sponsors, Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Todd Young (R-IN) as well as 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). We have led a coalition of nearly 70 organizations in support of the legislation over the past two years. Operating in the world’s most complex and fragile environments, including 17 of the 20 countries ranked lowest in the 2018 Global Peace Index, Mercy Corps currently implements a peacebuilding portfolio of £117 million.