September 26, 2023 (WASHINGTON) – This joint statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) by Co-Chairs Lester Munson, Larry Nowels, and Ritu Sharma.
“With less than a week remaining before the expiration of fiscal year (FY) 22 State-Foreign Operations Funding, we are very concerned that billions of dollars appropriated to support vital development programs remain unobligated, pending final negotiations between federal agencies and congressional appropriators and authorizers. We call on all parties in Congress and the Executive Branch to work together through an expeditious and transparent process to ensure that the holds are lifted and these funds are released before their imminent expiration. Doing so is imperative to ensure that critical State Department and USAID programs remain in operation and can work in an effective and efficient manner.
U.S. global development and humanitarian assistance professionals constantly confront shifting challenges and emerging opportunities in their work overseas to foster global development and respond to international emergencies. A critical component for success in these activities is the availability of adequate funding that is predictable in its accessibility.
While foreign affairs budget instability is not new, some of these obstacles have grown both in frequency and magnitude in recent years. Delays in congressional enactment of annual appropriations, extensive post-appropriation negotiations between lawmakers and executive branch officials (including lengthy, unresolved holds), changes in budget priorities of a new Congress or administration, cumbersome internal processes at USAID and the State Department, and other erratic budget practices seriously impede the allocation of funds to the field and raise uncertainties among aid managers whether their funding envelope will allow them to continue their work as planned.
An uncertain and volatile budget environment dominated by delays, cuts and rescissions (or threatened cuts and rescissions) significantly undermines aid efficiency and effectiveness. We urge Congress and the Executive Branch to ensure that these important FY22 funds are finally obligated without further delay.