Congress: A Robust International Response to COVID-19 Is Needed
As the U.S. Congress considers how to address the COVID-19 crisis through a fourth supplemental appropriations bill, IFES is advocating for a robust international response. On April 22, IFES joined with other InterAction members and partners in a letter to congressional leadership calling for at least $12 billion in foreign assistance, including critical support for democracies at risk around the globe. Strong democratic institutions, credible elections and trusted information are essential to public health and safety in the wake of the pandemic.
The letter makes clear that additional COVID-19 funding is required for the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development to adequately respond.
“... as the virus spreads throughout countries with fragile health systems, weak governance, crumbling educational systems, and struggling economies, more aggressive U.S. leadership is required to address the pandemic’s varied impacts and protect against a future resurgence. Our efforts to defeat this virus abroad will protect and save lives both in developing countries and here at home.”
The letter points to the potential for long-lasting, detrimental effects on democracies and governance, including disproportionate impacts on marginalized populations such as refugees, women and girls.
“Addressing the immediate health impacts of this crisis, as well as supporting programs to alleviate additional impacts that could prove even more long-lasting and devastating, will require significant resources that are needed urgently.”
IFES signed the letter along with more 100 other U.S.-based nongovernmental organizations that implement and advocate for humanitarian, health, development and democracy programs.
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