The Complex Crises Fund (CCF) is used to prevent and respond to emerging or unforeseen crises in fragile countries at a heightened risk of conflict and instability.
What does it buy?
The CCF is the only source of quick, flexible funding for targeted assistance when unforeseen needs arise outside of planned programming.
Why is it important?
The CCF can release funds quickly to mitigate crises where and when the need is greatest, reducing the risk of escalation or the need for costly military responses.
The CCF helped prevent pre-election violence in Kenya, consolidated unanticipated democratic gains in Sri Lanka, and supported human rights monitors in Burundi.
The CCF was used to prevent and de-escalate tensions between Jordanians and Syrian refugees after the outbreak of the 2011 conflict—supporting better, more peaceful resource management between the two groups. The program helped 135 communities find nonviolent solutions to their issues.
A CCF program in Bangladesh is responding to risks of violence and instability in the host communities in Cox’s Bazar and the surrounding areas.
A CCF program promoted conflict resolution and social cohesion after violence threatened peace and stability in Guinea following the country’s first democratic elections. This funding helped prevent violent events and global health threats from evolving, saving numerous lives.
The CCF consolidates security gains and protects progress in development and diplomacy.
Why should Americans care?
The CCF protects progress in development and diplomacy. By reducing and preventing community violence or humanitarian burden, the CCF minimizes risk to U.S. development investments, including health, education, and food security.
The CCF consolidates security gains and diplomacy abroad while strengthening U.S. national security and mitigating expensive future military interventions.
The COVID-19 pandemic amplifies existing conflict drivers and accelerates a spiral into deeper instability in already fragile states.
The University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies forecasts the pandemic will ignite conflict in 13 more countries through 2022, pushing the total number of countries experiencing conflict to 35—more than at any point over the past 30 years.
A newly released brief from the global humanitarian organization Mercy Corps outlines how COVID-19 and government responses to it are fraying social cohesion, deteriorating state-society relations, proliferating dis- and misinformation, expanding armed groups’ influence, and increasing economic scarcity and resource competition.
What more could be done?
Additional investment could allow the U.S. to take a regional approach to mitigating conflict. Crises seldom remain within borders, and CCF programs would have more impact if implemented regionally.
The CCF should be funded at $50 million to meet the global need around evolving national and sub-national conflicts.
In 2018, 34 countries experienced armed conflict within their borders. In mid-2020, the number of forcibly displaced people exceeded 80 million. With a $20 million increase, the CCF could be used to expand its work dramatically.
As of 2020, the OECD considers 13 countries “extremely fragile” and lists 44 additional contexts as “fragile.” Each of these contexts is susceptible to unforeseen shocks or crises.
While the U.S. Government is already involved in many of them, additional investment could allow USAID to respond more quickly when rare windows of opportunity arise.
Funding levels may not accurately reflect those in the appropriations bills and/or reports due to rounding.