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Press Release

IRC’s David Miliband: approval of omnibus bill is a step in the right direction to sustain critical foreign aid, support refugees

Yesterday, Congress approved a spending bill to fund the U.S. government for the rest of the fiscal year. We commend Congress for providing an additional $1 billion in famine relief, which will help save the lives of nearly 30 million people, the majority of whom are women and children, under threat of famine. Further, this budget continues funding for critical support to foster the integration and self-sufficiency of refugees who have found safety in the U.S., and increases the number of Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans who have served alongside U.S. armed forces and now face threats in their home country.

Said David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee:

“Congress has done the right thing and the smart thing in approving the Omnibus Bill with increased funding for humanitarian response. The test now is for continued leadership for FY 2018, and to fully fund the International Affairs budget at $60 billion. From deadly famine that jeopardizes 30 million lives in East Africa, Nigeria and Yemen, to the displacement of 65 million people and a brutal civil war in Syria, the global challenges we face today require robust U.S. leadership. In continuing their support for effective aid programs, and providing foreign assistance to meet the pressing need for famine and disaster relief, Congress has signaled their willingness to lead the world out of one of the most pressing humanitarian crises in history, all for less than 1% of the federal budget.”

About the IRC

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 28 offices across the U.S. helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.