ONE welcomes new bipartisan bill to increase stability and prevent violent conflicts in fragile countries

WASHINGTON — The ONE Campaign today welcomed the introduction of the Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act (HR 5273), which would direct USAID, the State Department, and the Pentagon to work together to develop a coherent strategy for reducing fragility and violence, by addressing their root causes in fragile and conflict-affected countries. The number of people living in extreme poverty are increasingly concentrated in countries struggling with violence and instability. This legislation gives the United States government the tools needed to develop new strategies for how to do development in difficult settings and reach some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Tom Hart, North America executive director at The ONE Campaign:

“Both parties came together to introduce a bill that recognizes the importance of tackling extreme poverty in fragile or conflict-affected countries. As we are seeing so painfully in northeast Nigeria, Niger, Yemen and elsewhere, violent conflict can make long-term development nearly impossible, and extreme poverty and disease can create instability and a potential recruiting ground for extremism.

“American security is undermined by fragile and failing nations that foster radicalism, produce refugees, and provide safe havens for terrorists, criminal gangs, and human traffickers. The U.S. government should invest in development in these types of difficult places both because it is the right thing to do, but also because it can help prevent the conditions that allow violence and fragility to spread, advancing our nation’s foreign policy and national security interests.

“Congressmen Engel, Poe, and McCaul are right: the United States needs a coordinated long-term approach to preventing instability that brings together the expertise and resources of USAID, State, and the DoD. ONE welcomes their hard work in developing this bill and we look forward to working with our partners on the Hill to ensure this proposal is backed by the funding it needs to be effective.”

About Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act

The bill would require the USAID, in coordination with the State Department and the Department of Defense, to identify 10 pilot countries and develop 10-year strategies for reducing fragility and violence in each selected country. The plans must:

    • Include interagency plans for coordination and implementation;
    • Ensure appropriate local actors have roles in developing, implementing, monitoring, evaluating, and updating relevant aspects of each pilot country plan;
    • Include clear, transparent, and measurable political, diplomatic and developmental benchmarks, timetables, and performance metrics;
    • Provide for regular and iterative policy and program adaptations based on M&E findings and other evidence gathered;
    • Include descriptions of available policy tools to address the root causes of violence, violent conflict and fragility;
    • Include potential areas of partnership between USG and the private sector.