Over two dozen humanitarian organizations and NGOs have issued a joint appeal to Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Director of Office of Management and Budget Sylvia M. Burwell in advance of President Obama’s FY2015 Budget request to Congress, asking them to fulfill existing U.S. commitments in South Sudan and anticipate growing needs in the Central African Republic.
Calling on the Administration to ensure that peacekeeping operations in both contexts have the best chance to halt violence, protect civilians, and stabilize one of the most volatile regions of the world, the letter makes the following requests:
- Include funding for a potential UN led peacekeeping operation in CAR in the FY’15 budget request. If U.S. funds are not provided, the groups note, it could cripple a mission’s ability to promote stability and protect civilians.
- Address peacekeeping cap related arrears and mission shortfalls in the FY’15 budget request. Currently, the U.S. is facing an over $350 million shortfall resulting from a combined lack of funding for several missions and a cap on peacekeeping funding, which has a particularly profound impact on the mission in South Sudan.
- Re-establish robust U.S. diplomatic engagement in both CAR and South Sudan. The limits of U.S. political engagement in South Sudan, including the absence of USAID staff, and lack of a U.S. presence in CAR creates coordination challenges for U.S. government implementing partners.