As noted in your April 12 article regarding Biden’s trip to Northern Ireland, the 25-year-old peace accord represents a successful peacebuilding effort that reduced violence, death, and displacement. However imperfect the accord has been, we’re sure it’s better than not having an accord.
The U.N. estimates that globally there are over 89 million people displaced from their homes worldwide, mostly due to conflict and persecution.
This is an astonishing amount of suffering—and Congress can do more to lessen it. While humanitarian aid saves lives, it does not end conflict and it does not protect civilians from the trauma of displacement and conflict.
But the US does have important resources to help prevent conflict. Specifically, activities under the Atrocities Prevention, Complex Crises Fund, and Reconciliation Programs do this important work. With these resources, the State Department identifies countries at the early stages of potential violence, provides immediate, short-term gaps during emergent crises, and emphasizes, through the use of democratic processes, a local grassroots, people-to-people approach to healing and peacebuilding.
We are asking Congressman Molinaro to advocate for robust funding for these peacebuilding programs to prevent and reduce violent conflict. While we spend billions for war, we are asking for only millions to try to prevent it.
Becky Meier and Spee Braun
Members of the Mid-Hudson Valley Friends Committee on National Legislation Advocacy Group
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