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Yeo: Senate Shows Backbone in Funding International Priorities, Including New Mali Peacekeeping Mission

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Washington, D.C. (July 24, 2013) — The Senate Appropriations Committee today considers a fiscal year 2014 budget that represents major strides in foreign affairs and global health investments, lauded Better World Campaign executive director, Peter Yeo. The measure includes provisions that would—for the first time—fund U.S. commitments toward the newest United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali.

“At a time when we’re asking the UN do more with less—including stabilizing Mali, a nation terrorized by extremists—the U.S. simply cannot abandon its commitments and its allies. Fortunately, the Senate’s bill positions the U.S. to protect our interests overseas,” said Yeo.

The Senate legislation funds the U.S. International Affairs budget at $50.594 billion in FY’14 and provides near-full funding for U.S. commitments to the UN via the Contributions to International Organizations (CIO) and Contributions for International Peacekeeping Activities (CIPA) accounts. It also provides voluntary funding for UN agencies like UNICEF, UNDP, and UNFPA.

The bill further establishes a new $575 million Complex Foreign Crises Fund, a portion of which would be used to fund the Mali mission. Additional funding for this mission is included under the Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) account.

Added Yeo, “A measure like this shows some backbone to those who would retreat from our international commitments. It comes not a moment too soon, as Americans have already lost their lives to a terrorist plot hatched in Mali.”

The bill also provides robust funding to urgent global health matters. Specifically, it increases commitments to polio to $61 million and provides $630 million for bilateral, voluntary family planning programs and $39.5 million for UNFPA. The Global Fund received $1.65 billion and GAVI received $175 million, critical investments that will fully fund our commitments to our multilateral partners.

“Overall, this is a well-balanced funding bill that recognizes our multilateral and bilateral investments need to be prioritized to save lives, and Senators Patrick Leahy and Lindsey Graham are to be commended for ushering it out of Subcommittee. We appreciate their commitment and the Committee’s hard work to protect a strong U.S.-UN relationship—one in which we can share the burden with our allies. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress towards a final bill that fully funds the United Nations and thus the U.S. ability to stand up for American interests and values around the world.”

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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