Last week, Congress passed a funding package for Fiscal Year 2018, which was later signed by the President, keeping the government open and pertinent programs funded through the end of September 2018. Included in the package was full funding for programs seeking to alleviate the burden of malaria globally, the President’s Malaria Initiative and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, as well as robust funding for UN agency partners. This is an incredible victory for the malaria community, as previous drafts of the FY18 package included supplemental funding; this would have meant a lower base funding level for following years. With grassroots encouragement, Congress showed up to fully support malaria priorities and reaffirm their confidence in these lifesaving initiatives.
Read below for an official statement from Better World Campaign President Peter Yeo regarding the passage of the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus:
Washington D.C. (March 23, 2018) — Better World Campaign President Peter Yeo issued the following statement today regarding the passage of the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus that was signed into law this afternoon:
“The FY’18 Omnibus reaffirms the bipartisan commitment on Capitol Hill to continue our investments in diplomacy and foreign affairs.
“The total $55.9 billion allocated for international affairs programs included in the Omnibus marks an increase of $2.1 billion over the FY’17 enacted level, which marks a significant victory over the cuts that were originally proposed in the Administration’s budget request.
“With regards to the UN, Congress sided with the overwhelming majority of Americans who agree that we should meet our financial obligations to the UN.
“Specifically, the FY’18 Omnibus includes robust funding for the Contributions to International Organizations account, which funds U.S. assessments for the UN Regular Budget and UN specialized agencies. It also maintains funding for the International Organizations and Programs account – which had been zeroed out in the President’s budget request. This account is a key source of voluntary contributions to various UN entities, like UNICEF, UN Women, the UN Development Program (UNDP), and UN Environment.
“The bill provides sufficient funds for UN peacekeeping to allow the U.S. to pay a 25 percent share of all peacekeeping costs. Unfortunately, that is short of the assessed rate of 28 percent, so the U.S. will accrue additional arrears in 2018.
“We applaud House and Senate Appropriators for recognizing the value of a robust foreign affairs budget, which includes full funding for the UN Regular Budget.”
About Nothing But Nets:
Nothing But Nets is the world’s largest grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a disease which claims the life of a child every two minutes. Inspired by sports columnist Rick Reilly, hundreds of thousands of people have joined the campaign that was created by the United Nations Foundation in 2006. Nothing But Nets has raised over $65 million to help deliver 12 million bed nets to families in need, along with other crucial malaria interventions. In addition to raising funds for its UN partners, Nothing But Nets raises awareness and voices to advocate for critical malaria funding for the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. It only costs $10 to help save lives from this deadly disease. Visit www.NothingButNets.net to defeat malaria.
About the Better World Campaign
The Better World Campaign works to foster a strong relationship between the U.S. and the UN to promote core American interests and build a more secure, prosperous, and healthy world. The Better World Campaign engages policymakers, the media, and the American public alike to increase awareness of the critical role played by the UN in world affairs and the importance of constructive U.S.-UN relations. Learn more at: www.betterworldcampaign.org
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Communications & Digital Media Manager, Nothing But Nets