Every year Congress must undertake a budget and appropriations process to fund the agencies and programs of the U.S. government. World Vision (alongside you, our advocates!) engages A LOT in this process, working to build support for critical accounts and for policies that support safety, health and opportunity for the most vulnerable around the world.
We’ve now hit a critical milestone in this process — the House of Representatives has passed its version of the primary bill that funds foreign assistance, the State, Foreign Operations (SFOPs) and Related Agencies bill, as well as the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education bill, which includes programs that prevent child labor.
Included in the SFOPs bill are global health, food security, child protection, education and humanitarian programs, as well as programs that support democracy, good governance, and human rights. These programs help support the health, safety, and opportunity of children and their families all over the world, addressing the root causes of poverty, all for less than 1 percent of the federal budget.
Thank you for advocating to protect this funding. We have good news!
We are especially excited that the House of Representatives saw fit to increase funding for foreign assistance this year. Foreign aid isn’t always the most understood or popular issue, but champions for these programs — both Democrat and Republican — have stood up in support of it. While the Senate still needs to act and there are still many stages left to go before there is a final bill, we are so encouraged that the global need and the impact foreign assistance can have has been recognized!
As we continue to advocate and to pray over this process, there are several funding increases proposed in the bill that we are celebrating with our advocates.
Let’s celebrate the call for:
- More funding for foreign assistance programs that fight hunger, like Food for Peace that was increased by 8 percent.
- An 8 percent increase to global health programs, including our full request of $1.56 billion for the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria and $15 million in additional funding for maternal and child health.
- $25 million more in funding for school feeding programs and maternal and child health nutrition projects supported by the McGovern-Dole program.
- Additional funding to respond to disasters and conflict, including a $100 million increase in the funding that responds to the needs of refugees.
- Restored funding for programs in Central America, including those that address the root causes of violence and migration.
- Nearly $54 million for programs that help prevent and combat child labor.
- A 15 percent increase in funding for basic education programs.
There is still work to do as the budget process continues, but we are grateful for what is behind these numbers — real children and families who need a “hand up” through foreign assistance to meet their needs and reach their full potential.
Top photo: Rohingya refugee boy carrying bag of USAID donated food. © 2019 World Vision, Jon Warren