As the world continues to grapple with the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, global crises continue to compound. Food prices have reached a new all-time high, up approximately 20% over a year ago. Those in need of humanitarian assistance could rise by 17% this year—and that projection predates Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that has already led to over 3 million refugees fleeing the country, over half of whom are children. Climate change is projected to drive tens of millions into extreme poverty. Democracy continues to erode, and toxic polarization is worsening. And yet, in the face of these realities, regular funding that addresses these challenges saw minimal increases in F.Y. 2022.
The federal appropriations process is complex, and it can be difficult to understand how that process impacts the challenges outlined above. That is why, for the 12th year in a row, InterAction has prepared Choose to Invest as a public resource for understanding the critical accounts that fund development, health, humanitarian action, climate, and democracy.
This resource attempts to demystify what and how the U.S. Government funds overseas by providing information across 55 accounts funded through the annual appropriations process, primarily in the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Bill. We have also included programs on safeguarding international food security funded by the Agriculture Appropriations Bill and international labor and health protections funded through the Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill.
Each account includes its funding history and a recommended funding level for the upcoming fiscal year based on the experience and expertise of InterAction’s coalition—the voice of nearly 200 humanitarian and development non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
While each account is distinct, the issues that lead to poverty or the need for emergency response are interconnected. This year Choose to Invest is organized by sector to show those connections, with an overview of the challenges that a specific set of accounts can address. Choose to Invest is also introducing cross-cutting themes that are across multiple sectors and accounts. You will see a cluster of related accounts for each theme—children and youth; climate; countering malign foreign influence; gender; and WASH. Users will also see icons for the cross-cutting themes within the account pages, where they can click for additional information and examples.
Though Congress has tools to provide additional resources in response to fast-moving events, including its recent funding for Ukraine, those emergency appropriations should not be used to fill gaps in routine funding. When agencies do not receive timely and sufficient funding through the regular process, they are forced to make life and death decisions on which programs to fund. The recommendations in Choose to Invest are designed to support the public and Congress in the regular appropriations process.
Browse the report online by clicking the sections below, or download the PDF version HERE (note that the interactive portions of the resource are best viewed in Adobe Acrobat).