WASHINGTON, D.C.—On March 21, 2017, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA released a statement addressing the Trump Administration’s recently released FY18 budget proposal calls for drastic cuts in the funding of the Department of State and the Agency for International Development (USAID), totaling 31 percent from current levels.
In response to the proposed cuts, the organization additionally released a call to action, asking individuals to send an email to Senators and Representatives, addressing Congress’ response to President Trump’s budget proposal. The call to action states that “It will be up to [Congress] to defend America’s position as a leader in humanitarian action on behalf of those less fortunate than ourselves.”
“If adopted as written, this budget would have the gravest consequences for the well-being – even the survival – of millions of the world’s refugees,” explains JRS/USA representatives. “With more than 11 million people displaced after six years of civil war in Syria, and countries like South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen facing famine, this budget proposal comes at a time when the world is facing incredible challenges. The U.S. makes vital contributions to the operations of humanitarian organizations, including the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), which help sustain millions of refugee lives every day. Representing less than 1 percent of the U.S. budget, foreign assistance is not charity, but wise diplomacy.”