The full Senate and House Appropriations Committees finished their work on the State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2019 currently under consideration in Congress. We are thrilled to share that both committees have recommended $132.5 million – matching the amount requested by UNICEF USA and its advocates – for the U.S. Government’s contribution to UNICEF for Fiscal Year 2019.
This is an important victory in our efforts to secure passage of the funding for UNICEF, but the battle is not yet over. Now the full House and Senate need to pass the bills sent to them by their Appropriations Committees. However, we are encouraged by the bipartisan support we received once again to maintain UNICEF’s funding at the same level of $132.5 million that was provided last year for Fiscal Year 2018. This is especially remarkable since the President’s Budget Request to Congress for Fiscal Year 2019 did not seek any funding for UNICEF.
Senator Patrick Leahy (left) and Martin Rendon (right)
Once again, our elected officials have demonstrated their commitment to putting children first and enabling UNICEF to continue its life-saving work to protect children from violence, exploitation, and abuse, support basic education, and save children from preventable deaths. This funding is an effective, measurable investment that reflects our American values.
This wonderful news comes at the close of my 25-year career with UNICEF USA, leading our public policy and advocacy work from the nation’s capital. Over these past 25 years, our grassroots volunteers, partners, and advocates have enabled us to receive a total of $2.86 billion in funding that we have dedicated to directly impact children and young people. We take great pride in our growing network of supporters! Our advocates are diverse, energetic, and passionate. They have rejected cynicism about gridlock and dysfunction in Washington. They have charged forward with an infectious energy and a determination to make a difference that has inspired the Senators, Representatives, and staffers on the Hill. We are especially proud of the young people who have shown their commitment to UNICEF, and we hope that they will continue to engage and advocate on behalf of the world’s children.
While there will always be more to do, momentum is with us. We are stronger than ever before. May we all be energized and renewed by our accomplishments and continue to strive for positive change for the lives of millions of children around the globe!