Peacekeeping Operations (PKO)
FY2016 Funding Recommendation:
President's FY2016 Request
InterAction's FY2016 Recommendation
The Peacekeeping Operations account (PKO) funds multilateral UN and regional peacekeeping and security forces, as well as training programs that increase the capacity of relevant countries to participate in such forces.
U.S.-funded programs that train, equip, and support the deployment of foreign security forces for international peacekeeping operations are essential to improving international security, sustaining and consolidating peace settlements, promoting institutions that preserve the rule of law, and enhancing the protection of civilians in conflict areas.
Funding at this level will ensure continued U.S. investments for these critical programs that enable the United States to enhance the capabilities of our partner nations, expand the pool of properly trained peacekeepers, and promote international security.
Fighting for peace
For 20 months, fighters from the M23 rebel group wreaked havoc on communities in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. They shelled towns and camps, seized control of a major city, and contributed to the displacement of 800,000 civilians. Domitila, age 80, was living in a displacement camp at the time and experienced their cruelty first-hand. “When they neared the camp we hid,” she said, “but there was nowhere to go and I cannot run fast anymore. There was no one to protect us.”
After talks between M23 and the Congolese government broke down in October 2013, another devastating rebel assault seemed imminent. But this time, the Congolese army had a new ally: the United Nations Force Intervention Brigade.
With a unique mandate to neutralize rebel threats, the Brigade soon proved its worth in a head-on confrontation with M23. Brigade soldiers deployed firepower and equipment that, in the words of one observer, “had never been seen before in eastern Congo.” And working alongside Congolese troops, their superior tactics and training quickly overwhelmed the M23. Within days, the rebels had surrendered.
The Brigade’s success was a singular achievement – not just for the UN, but also for U.S. foreign assistance. Each of the three participating militaries – Malawi, Tanzania, and South Africa – benefitted from assistance provided through the Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) account. Since 1997, the Departments of State and Defense have used PKO funds to train and equip more than 250,000 soldiers from 25 African nations. These funds help African nations participate more effectively in international peace operations, strengthen America’s overseas security partnerships, and lead to better protection for vulnerable people.