When it returned from the August Congressional Recess, the Senate Appropriations Committee resumed work on its spending bills, including the State-Foreign Operations Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2018. We are happy to report that the full Senate Appropriations Committee recommended $132.5 million for UNICEF – matching the amount recommended in July by the House Appropriations Committee.
This was remarkable, since the President’s Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2018 had not sought any funding for UNICEF. The Senate Appropriators – like their House colleagues – instead crafted their own recommendations for international development and humanitarian programs, including the annual U.S. Government contribution to UNICEF. On a bipartisan basis, they decided to maintain UNICEF’s funding at the same level of $132.5 million they had provided for Fiscal Year 2017.
The funding UNICEF receives in the annual appropriations enables UNICEF to be an indispensable partner of the United States in saving children from preventable deaths, supporting basic education, and protecting children from violence, exploitation, and abuse. It is an effective, measurable investment to save and improve the lives of vulnerable children around the world and is an example of assistance that reflects our American values.
That message was delivered to the U.S. Senate by our supporters across the country.
Such advocacy is the foundation of UNICEF’s bipartisan support in the Senate.
The House and the Senate have passed a “Continuing Resolution” to keep the Federal Government funded while they work to complete action on the Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations. Since now both the Senate and the House Appropriations Committees have provided $132.5 million for UNICEF in their separate bills, we must encourage them to make sure the funding is included in the final measure they send to the President’s desk later this year.