WASHINGTON — The ONE Campaign today welcomed the introduction of the Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act that recognizes the importance of reducing poverty in fragile or conflict-affected countries. The bill, which has already been introduced in the House of Representatives, 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. Fragile states include nations plagued with weakened institutions that are susceptible to political upheaval. The bill was introduced by Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
Tom Hart, North America executive director at The ONE Campaign:
“There is a clear nexus between extreme poverty and instability. That’s why it’s so important for the United States government to have the tools it needs to develop new strategies for conducting development, reducing poverty in difficult settings, and reaching some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.
“As we have seen in places like Nigeria, Niger, Yemen and elsewhere, the number of people living in extreme poverty are increasingly concentrated in countries struggling with violence and instability. Investing in the stability of fragile states can save innocent lives and is an efficient and cost-effective way to advance our nation’s foreign policy and national security interests by changing the conditions that allow violence and fragility to spread.
“Senators Coons, Rubio, Merkley, Young and Graham should be applauded for acknowledging the need for a long-term approach to preventing instability that brings together the expertise and resources of USAID, State, and the DoD. ONE welcomes the progress that this bill represents and we will work to ensure this proposal is backed by the funding it needs to be effective.”
About the Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act
The bill would require 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.