Congress Urged to Continue Supporting Humanitarian and Development Assistance in FY18 Budget
Oxfam welcomed new humanitarian funding in the Omnibus spending bill and praised Congress for responding to the looming threat of famine in many places around the world. The bill, which averts a US government shutdown, provides $990 million in emergency funding to address famine in South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria.
“By moving to help millions of people facing famine today, Congress is demonstrating that American values are alive and well,” said Raymond C. Offenheiser, President of Oxfam America. “More than 20 million people are suffering from severe hunger today in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria, and this new funding will literally save millions of lives.”
The Omnibus bill passed the House of Representatives today and is expected to pass the Senate before Friday. Oxfam especially thanked Chairman Graham (R-SC) and Ranking Member Leahy (D-VT), as well as and Chairman Rogers (R-KY-05) and Ranking Member Lowey (D-NY-17) for their leadership in seeing this funding in the final bill.
As Congress moves through its agenda and considers the next year’s budget, Oxfam urged members to reject draconian cuts to aid proposed by President Trump.
“The Omnibus bill is encouraging, and Congress must continue to uphold the best in American values and ideals by supporting life-saving foreign assistance in next year’s budget to address urgent needs and prevent crises in the future,” continued Offenheiser. “Global crises are not bound by our fiscal years, and the global humanitarian needs have never been greater. Investments in development assistance are investments in global stability, peace, and prosperity and to walk away from that in the way President Trump has proposed, would not only be unwise, they would be immoral.”
Oxfam expressed disappointment, however, at the failure of Congress to fulfil our country’s responsibility to the Green Climate Fund and other international climate funds.
“Climate change is one of the most significant threats facing the planet today. Increasing water scarcity, flooding, and extreme weather events are already impacting millions of people worldwide and here at home, said Offenheiser. “The US must not turn its back on its climate promises made to assist vulnerable countries and our local communities here at home.”