Washington, D.C. (July 1, 2021) — Better World President Peter Yeo released the following statement on the markup of the fiscal year 2022 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPs) Appropriations bill:
“The House Appropriations Committee, under the able leadership of Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro and SFOPS Chairwoman Barbara Lee, took a large step toward strengthening U.S. global leadership by investing in key development and diplomatic initiatives included within the SFOPs appropriations bill.
“The measure provides $62.2 billion for the international affairs budget, a 12% increase over fiscal year 2021 levels, in line with the Biden Administration’s budget proposal released in May.
“Critically, the bill provides full funding for both the regular and peacekeeping budgets and designates a $325 million down payment toward the $1.1 billion in arrears the U.S. owes UN peacekeeping. These arrears are the result of a long-standing and arbitrary legislative cap that prevents the U.S. from paying its treaty obligated dues at rates we agreed to. In addition, the bill authorizes the State Department to pay our full and fair share of peacekeeping dues for the next fiscal year and addresses human rights-related arrears accrued during the Trump Administration.
“The FY’22 SFOPS bill led by Chairwoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) is both visionary and practical. Chairwoman Lee recognized the geopolitical challenges facing the world today, particularly the rise of autocratic governments, and the need for a comprehensive U.S. response.
“At the same time, the bill addresses immediate issues like global health security. Significantly, nearly $1 billion is dedicated to covid-19 research, detection and response overseas, which makes Americans safer at home.
“Additional investments and policy actions include:
- $3 billion to address the climate crisis, incorporating assistance to vulnerable populations facing hunger, disease and displacement and including $1.6 billion for the multilateral Green Climate Fund, the first direct appropriation;
- $760 million for family planning, with $70 million allocated to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), long overdue increases that support women’s health globally;
- Permanent repeal of the draconian “Global Gag Rule,” which prohibits foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that receive U.S. global health assistance from providing legal abortion services or referrals; and
- Full funding for the World Health Organization and much needed assistance to the UN Refugee Agency and UNRWA during a time of unprecedented humanitarian challenges.
“As the FY’22 appropriations process continues, we call on Congress and the Administration to use the House funding levels as the floor to ensure international affairs investments are in sync with what’s required to advance U.S. interests and address urgent global crises.”
About the Better World Campaign
The Better World Campaign, an initiative of the Better World Fund, works to strengthen the relationship between the United States and the United Nations. It encourages U.S. leadership to enhance the UN’s ability to carry out its invaluable international work on behalf of peace, progress, freedom, and justice. For more information, visit www.betterworldcampaign.org.