Public Policy Update: April 1, 2011

InterAction is continuing to monitor the humanitarian situation in West Africa resulting from post-electoral violence in the Ivory Coast. A number of InterAction members are responding to humanitarian needs; find a list of these organizations and details about their activities on InterAction’s crisis response page. As of late last week, UNHCR estimated that as many as 1 million people have been displaced within the Ivory Coast, and over 100,000 have fled to Liberia and other neighboring countries. The UN Security Council this week unanimously adopted Resolution 1975, which among other things expressed deep concern about the increasing number of IDPs and refugees and called for cooperation in order to enhance access to humanitarian aid to displaced populations. Read U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice’s comments. Yesterday, Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson hosted a special briefing on the Ivory Coast. InterAction is heartened by these and other actions in Congress, the administration and elsewhere to draw attention to the situation and support meeting the immediate needs of those affected by the violence.

Meanwhile, negotiations on spending for the rest of FY2011 continue among House and Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats and the White House. With the current continuing resolution (CR) set to expire on Friday, April 8, recent comments by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Vice President Joe Biden suggest that a spending compromise for FY2011 may be in the offing. Please read the rest of the Weekly Update for a complete analysis of the FY2011 budget and appropriations process as well as the latest news on the release of the House FY2012 budget resolution and the debt limit increase.

InterAction members continue to respond to needs on the borders of Libya. This week, Congress held two hearings on the recent U.S.-led intervention. Please find summaries of these hearings and others (including one on U.S. Global Health and HIV/AIDS programs), a list of upcoming hearings and articles of interest in the full Update.