Congress Increases Voluntary Contribution To UNICEF's Core Resources In 2023
NEW YORK (December 27, 2022) – UNICEF USA welcomes the recent passage of the Fiscal Year 2023 Omnibus bill to fund the U.S. Government for FY 2023, as well as provide additional humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.
We applaud the U.S. Congress for overall increases to U.S. foreign assistance to support children and families in need globally. In particular, Congress provided $137 million to UNICEF’s core resources, a $3 million increase over last year’s voluntary contribution and the largest increase since Fiscal Year 2005. This funding arrives at a time when it’s desperately needed, as children are facing more pressing and immense challenges than ever before; the COVID-19 pandemic has fueled the largest continued backslide in vaccinations in thirty years, and almost half of all deaths in children under the age of 5 are attributable to undernutrition at a time when the price of live-saving ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) is increasing.
The final agreement also included significant commitments to advancing mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) for children domestically and around the world. Congress provided $111 million for Department of Education programs designed to increase the availability of mental health services in schools, including by expanding training programs to prepare new school counselors, social workers and psychologists. The bill also mandates a report from the U.S. Department of State and USAID on the amount of funding currently being spent on MHPSS as well as current efforts to integrate mental health and psychosocial programming, including child-specific programming, into development and humanitarian assistance.
While UNICEF USA welcomes the additional support included for maternal and child health; basic education; efforts to combat child marriage; nutrition; polio; and vulnerable children, we are disappointed by the lack of protections for immigrant children and youth such as Dreamers. In the new year, Congress must pass legislation that would provide young undocumented people and their families with a pathway to citizenship.
As the 117th Congress comes to a close, we are especially grateful to Senate Appropriations Chair Patrick Leahy, who has been a longstanding champion of UNICEF and for children during his time in Congress. We at UNICEF USA deeply appreciate his leadership and his bipartisanship, an ethos we hope is carried forward by the incoming Appropriations Committee members.
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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to pursue a more equitable world for every child. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more.
UNICEF USA advances the global mission of UNICEF by rallying the American public to support the world’s most vulnerable children. Together, we are working toward a world that upholds the rights of all children and helps every child thrive. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.
For more information please contact:
Jenna Buraczenski, UNICEF USA, (917) 720-1432, firstname.lastname@example.org