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Obama Budget Sets U.S. on Right Track for Peacekeeping and Global Health Priorities, Says Better World Campaign

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Washington, D.C. (Feb. 3, 2015) — The President’s FY 2016 budget request to Congress signals that the U.S. must continue to advance our priorities in global security and global health—while sharing the burden with other nations—particularly through the United Nations, the Better World Campaign said today.

“The President’s budget is a realistic response to the increased needs we have asked the UN to take on over the past two years, particularly in places like South Sudan, Mali and the Central African Republic,” said Peter Yeo, president of the Better World Campaign. “Addressing instability in every one of those places is in our national interest, as we know terrorism can and does take root in volatile regions.”

Specifically, the President’s budget provides the following to advance global peace and security:

  • Fully supports UN Peacekeeping:  Requests $2.93 billion for the Contributions for International Peacekeeping Activities (CIPA) account, which would enable the U.S. to fully fund our peacekeeping dues for FY’16. This includes calling on Congress to pay our peacekeeping dues at the full assessed rate of 28 percent. Currently, the U.S. rate is set at 27.14 percent.
  • Plans for a potential crisis: Similar to last year’s request, the FY’16 proposal calls for $150 million to fund unanticipated new or expanded UN or non-UN peacekeeping needs. The Peace Operations Response Mechanism (PORM) would allow the U.S. to join other nations in responding to an urgent global crisis.
  • Fully funds the UN regular budget: The $1.54 billion allocated for the Contributions to International Organizations (CIO) Account would cover the U.S. share of political missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, the UN’s emergency Ebola mission, as well as our role in the vital work of UN agencies like the World Health Organization and the IAEA.
  • Allows for rapid response in Africa: For the first time, the President has called for $110 million in funding for an African Peacekeeping Rapid Response Partnership, an idea which was born out of the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. This is a smart idea to support rapid peacekeeping capabilities in certain countries, as deploying forces quickly in-country is critical to eventual peace, stability, and reconciliation.
  • Continues the UN’s vital humanitarian work: Through contributions to the International Organizations & Programs (IO&P) Account, the budget provides voluntary funding to agencies like the UN children’s fund (UNICEF), which is allocated $132 million.

The budget also works to advance U.S. global health priorities. Yeo added, “The outbreaks and events of the past year have clearly demonstrated that international safety and wellbeing must include an accounting of global health. Fortunately, the President’s FY’16 budget proposal would sustain strong funding for efforts such as fighting polio, malaria, and other deadly diseases through bilateral and multilateral programs like the President’s Malaria Initiative, UNICEF and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).”

Specific figures on the global health budget include:

  • Prioritizing vaccines for children: The budget calls for $168 million towards continuing a commitment to global polio eradication and $49 million to address the spread of measles and other diseases.  It also works to provide children access to life-saving vaccines by proposing $235 million for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
  • Maintaining a commitment to women and children’s health: Provides $575 million for voluntary family planning programs, including $35 million for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). In addition, the budget outlines $770 million for child and maternal health programs — an increase of $55 million from 2015.
  • Committing to stopping the spread of Malaria: $674 million is requested for the President’s Malaria Initiative.
  • Continuing the fight against AIDS: Recommends $1.1 billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. While this is a reduction from previous years, it does represent the President’s continued commitment to providing $1 million for every $2 million invested in the Global Fund, keeping the U.S. as the leading contributor to the global fight to end these three diseases.

“President Obama’s 2016 budget proposal wisely invests in the United Nations and our other multilateral partnerships, advancing foreign policy objectives for a healthier and safer world  — one in which the U.S. does not have to go it alone,” said Yeo.

About the Better World Campaign

The Better World Campaign works to foster a strong relationship between the U.S. and the UN to promote core American interests and build a more secure, prosperous, and healthy world. The Better World Campaign engages policymakers, the media, and the American public alike to increase awareness of the critical role played by the UN in world affairs and the importance of constructive U.S.-UN relations.

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Media Contact:

info_bwc@unfoundation.org