Good news from Washington!
U.S. Appropriations Bill Passes & Steps Up Inclusion of Unarmed Civilian Protection
The Omnibus package (funding U.S. government spending for the coming year) was signed by President Biden today. The Bill passed in the midst of national political divides and at the end of a year another tumultuous year globally—an accomplishment in and of itself.
Nonviolent Peaceforce celebrates the Bill and its accompanying report for recognizing the importance of Unarmed Civilian Protection, and providing funding toward sustainable peace.
The Administration and Congress continued to show support for Unarmed Civilian Protection through the below language included in the report that accompanies the FY2023 Bill (through H. Rept. 117-401).
Under the INCLE Fund: "Unarmed civilian protection.—The Committee supports the allocation of funds appropriated under this heading for grants and contracts, awarded on a competitive basis, for unarmed civilian protection programs implemented by international and nongovernmental organizations"
Under the Prevention and Stabilization Fund: "Unarmed civilian protection.—The Committee directs the Secretary of State, in consultation with the USAID Administrator, to provide funds for use of unarmed civilian protection organizations and evaluate the potential use of such organizations to provide direct physical protection to civilian populations, to strengthen the local non-violent peacekeeping capacity of communities currently experiencing or at risk of violent conflict, and to assist United States-funded stabilization efforts. The Secretary shall consult with the Committees on Appropriations on such programs "
Nonviolent Peaceforce will be watching for the competitive process to begin for UCP grants and contracts awarded under the INCLE Fund, as well as monitoring the continued progress of the Secretary of State and USAID Administrator in evaluating the impact and potential of UCP in direct protection and local nonviolent peacekeeping efforts of communities.
Nonviolent Peaceforce also works as a member of protection and peacebuilding coalitions with like-minded partners to advocate for support for policies and programs for sustainable peace. In conjunction with our colleagues in the Alliance for Peacebuilding, the Prevention and Protection Working Group, and InterAction we have gained meaningful achievements in the FY23 Appropriations Bill. These include the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs bill within the Omnibus that provides increases for several key peacebuilding accounts compared to the previous fiscal year, including USAID’s Democracy Fund, the State Department’s Human Rights & Democracy Fund, Women, Peace, and Security funding, Atrocities Prevention, and the Prevention and Stabilization Fund.
We are pleased with the steps that were taken to support sustainable peace and UCP. At the same time, we commit again to advocating for a dedicated $25 million in funding for Unarmed Civilian Protection in 2024. When we reflect on the $858 billion in defense spending passed for 2023 and the demonstrated effectiveness (and cost-effectiveness) of UCP on global issues related to the U.S.’s national security and other stated priorities—such as atrocity prevention, women’s peace and security, and climate-related conflict—we know that this is an achievable target, and one that will produce great dividends.
We thank all of our supporters who wrote and called their Members of Congress and Senators and look forward to another year of working together for peace and safety from violence for all!