As Members and partners of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based NGOs championing humanitarian, health, development, and democracy programs, we are gravely concerned with the proposed funding cuts for humanitarian and foreign assistance programs in H.R. 4665, the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 2024 and H.R. 4268, the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2024. 

Additionally, several proposed amendments would further gut foreign assistance influence and effectiveness and undermine State Department and USAID operations.

The proposed cuts represent reductions to vital humanitarian and foreign assistance initiatives that not only save lives, but also fortify communities worldwide – enhancing global stability, prosperity, and resilience against shocks and stressors. These programs are instrumental in mitigating global poverty, promoting democratic values, expanding foreign markets for U.S. goods, reducing the likelihood of conflicts, and delivering life-saving aid to those in the throes of complex crises worldwide. 

The enactment of this bill would signify a distressing abdication of the United States’ role as a global leader, eroding the bipartisan legacy of investments that have forged healthier, safer, and more stable communities. This departure jeopardizes the cornerstone of U.S. national security and prosperity. Failing to lead in this critical arena would invite others to take the reins.

U.S. foreign assistance programs are highly impactful, evidence-based, cost-efficient, transparent, and accountable to the American people. They've played a pivotal role in lifting over one billion people out of extreme poverty since 1990, and halving maternal, infant, and child mortality rates. Accounting for less than 1% of America’s budget, these international development and humanitarian efforts boast a proven track record of success, delivering an exceptional return on investment.

However, the efficacy of these programs hinges on consistent and predictable support. We urge Congress to pass the FY2024 State and Foreign Operations and international food assistance provisions in Agriculture appropriations at no less than FY2023 levels. This action must also coincide with the passage of substantial supplemental funding to meet urgent global needs.

The International Rescue Committee joined fellow NGOs in issuing this joint statement. The original statement and full list of signatories can be found here