“Foreign assistance budgets are indicative of a country’s priorities and values. This budget sends the signal to the rest of the world that the U.S. feels children in crisis can wait. Children cannot wait.”
Washington, D.C. (March 9, 2022) – Save the Children is shocked and disheartened by the cuts to the international humanitarian assistance included in the 2022 omnibus spending bill, filed this morning. While the package includes financial support to meet the needs of those impacted by the crisis in Ukraine, general humanitarian response funding was cut by one billion dollars, and global food security funding was not increased.
“While we commend Congress for responding to the unfolding crisis in Ukraine, where conditions deteriorate by the day, millions of children and families continue to suffer due to ongoing humanitarian crises in other parts of the world. Humanitarian needs around the world are at a record high, with more than 270 million people in need,” said Christy Gleason, Vice President of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns at Save the Children. “Foreign assistance budgets are indicative of a country’s priorities and values. This budget sends the signal to the rest of the world that the U.S. feels children in crisis can wait. Children cannot wait.”
Additionally, Congress has pulled five-billion-dollars for a global COVID-19 response from the omnibus package, jeopardizing vital investments in global vaccinations and treatments. Save the Children – together with its political advocacy arm, Save the Children Action Network – has been a vocal advocate for funding a global COVID-19 response. While the amount proposed is far below what is needed, its passage is a critical next step in mitigating COVID-19 and preventing further spread.
“Simply put, this budget isn’t sufficient to meet the growing needs of the world’s youngest living in crisis. By not immediately responding to these worsening emergencies – including COVID-19, conflict and looming famine – more young lives will be lost,” continued Gleason. “Save the Children will continue to deliver lifesaving humanitarian aid to children and families in the hardest to reach places around the world. We urgently call on the Biden administration and Congress to fund the global COVID-19 response and meet humanitarian needs now and in the 2023 budget. The lives of millions of children are at stake.”