Washington, D.C. (July 1, 2016) – On Wednesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed a spending measure that includes robust FY’17 funding for our core foreign affairs and global health priorities. Thanks to the leadership of Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the proposed bill would pave the way for continued commitment to a strong partnership with the United Nations.
“The Senate measure reinforces that even during a national discussion on our country’s key priorities, support for global health and international affairs, particularly the role of the United Nations and UN Peacekeeping, remain a top priority across the political spectrum,” says Peter Yeo, President of the Better World Campaign.
Key measures in the proposed bill include:
- UN Peacekeeping: The Senate bill would provide $2.37 billion to fund our nation’s peacekeeping dues, coming very close to the Administration’s FY’17 budgetary request for UN peacekeeping. It also lifts the arbitrary 25 percent cap on U.S. contributions to UN peacekeeping operations, allowing the U.S. to pay its peacekeeping dues at the full assessed rate.
- UN Regular Budget: The Senate appropriated $1.375 billion for all other assessed dues to UN agencies, coming very close to providing full funding for our UN Regular Budget and other dues payments.
- Voluntary Contributions: The Senate bill exceeded the President’s request for voluntary UN contributions, providing nearly $348 million for agencies such as the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which is working to help children displaced by conflict in Syria, Iraq, and South Sudan; and the UN Development Program, which advances efforts in democratic governance, poverty reduction, crisis prevention and recovery, energy and environment, and HIV/AIDS.
- Family Planning/UNFPA: Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) led a bipartisan effort to increase support for bilateral reproductive health programs by $10 million over FY’16 levels, repeal the Global Gag Rule, and restore $37.5 million in funding for UNFPA, which operates in 150 countries–from disaster response in Nepal, to the Zika response in Brazil.
- Health: Senate Appropriators fully funded efforts to eradicate polio, provided $275 million for GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, and increased funding for the President’s Malaria Initiative, while also maintaining funding for the Global Fund at FY’16 levels.
“The proposed Senate measure would lay the groundwork for a strong partnership between the U.S. and the UN from day one of the 115th Congress, a new U.S. President and a new Secretary-General at the helm of the UN,” said Yeo.
The House Appropriations Committee will propose funding levels over the coming weeks. The Better World Campaign will work with leaders in both houses to secure full funding for the UN and global health priorities in FY’17.
About the Better World Campaign:
The Better World Campaign (BWC), 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