On April 22, 2020, 106 InterAction Members sent the following letter to leadership and appropriators in the House and Senate urging Congress to provide no less than $12 billion for the international response in the next COVID-19 supplemental.
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McCarthy, Leader McConnell, and Leader Schumer:
As members and partners of lnterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based NGOs that implement and advocate for U.S. humanitarian, health, development, and democracy programs, we are grateful for your efforts to include funding for the international response to COVID-19 in P.L.116-123 and P.L.116-136. This funding has permitted the Department of State and USAID to begin responding to this unprecedented global pandemic. However, 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 pandemic1s 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.
As Congress considers the next legislative package to respond to COVID-19, we urge you to provide no less than $12 billion for the international response, including significant resources for emergency global health, flexible humanitarian assistance and urgent economic relief, development of and access to new vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments for low resource settings and support for operations of the State Department, USAID, and implementing partners on the frontlines of the United States’ COVID-19 response worldwide.
At least $12 billion is critical to ensuring the most vulnerable communities can prevent, respond to, and mitigate impacts from this devastating pandemic. From our experience in prior epidemics, we know firsthand how this virus will devastate health systems. We also understand how strong investments in global health and global health security enable protection and capacity for frontline health workers, support vital public health education, and help overwhelmed health facilities flatten the curve, while continuing to provide other critical, life-saving health services.
In addition, we know this virus is impacting U.S. investments and progress made on a wide range of issues, including nutrition and food security, WASH, democracy and governance, education, refugee protection and disproportionate impacts on vulnerable populations such as women and girls and people with disabilities. 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.
To ensure a truly global response, the United States must complement bilateral investments with support for lifesaving international organizations, including the World Health Organization. At this point in the pandemic, we need the expertise and support of all partners who are responding to COVID-19 in developing countries. Finally, it is critically important to support the broader charitable nonprofit sector’s requests for our response to COVID-19, including expanding nonprofit access to grants and credit and increasing the above-the-line deduction for charitable contributions.
This is the moment to demonstrate American generosity and moral leadership. We appreciate your recognition that a comprehensive effort to address this pandemic must include funding to address the outbreak in at-risk countries and strongly urge you to provide no less than $12 billion to fight the pandemic overseas in the next response package. We stand ready to provide you with any additional information you may require.
Please find a full list of signatories HERE.