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House Committee Approves State, Foreign Operations Bill

On June 11, the House Appropriations Committee approved, by voice vote, the FY2016 State and Foreign Operations spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered). The bill was approved by the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee on June 3 (see The Source, 6/5/15).

The legislation would provide $47.834 billion in funding for the State Department, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and foreign assistance programs in FY2016. This amount is $1.431 billion below FY2015 and $6.113 billion below President Obama’s budget request.

According to the report, global health programs would receive $8.454 billion in FY2016. The committee recommends at least $382.5 million for water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) projects (p. 45) and notes that the lack of toilets and adequate sanitation impacts women and girls in particular, and urges USAID to address this issue.

The legislation places “special emphasis on efforts to address human trafficking.” The measure includes $58 million – $15 million over the president’s request – for anti-trafficking efforts (pp. 84-5) and seeks to promote “independent judiciaries, human rights and women’s rights, combating human trafficking and corruption, and increasing public accountability and access to justice” (p. 51). The committee “urges the USAID administrator to strengthen implementation of the Counter-Trafficking in Persons (C–TIP) policy” (pp. 84-5).

The committee expects that the United Nations “has taken necessary measures to prevent trafficking in persons, illegal sexual exploitation and other violations of human rights, and that the UN is bringing to justice individuals who engage in such acts while participating in the peacekeeping mission” (pp. 26-7).

The committee expressed its concern that the State Department has not published a strategy to prevent child marriage, as required by the Violence Against Women Act (P.L. 113-4) and directs the secretary to report on its status (p. 12). In addition, the committee recommends funding to reduce child marriage and “to meet the needs of girls” (p. 44).

The committee encourages USAID to work to address the needs of women and girls kidnapped by Boko Haram (p. 80).

The following chart details funding for programs important to women and their families.

Program/Agency

FY2015

President’s FY2016 Request

FY2016

Department of State

Diplomatic and Consular Affairs $6.461 billion $7.097 billion $6.53 billion
International Peacekeeping $2.119 billion $2.93 billion $2.119 billion
Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons $7.5 million $20.723 million $12 million
United States Agency for International Development $1.09 billion $1.36 billion $1.058 billion

Bilateral Economic Assistance

Migration and Refugee Assistance $931.886 million $1.635 billion $2.093 billion
Global Health and Child Survival (State and USAID) $8.454 billion $8.181 billion $8.454 billion
President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) $5.67 billion $5.426 billion $5.67 billion
Child Survival and Maternal Health $715 million $770 million $882 million
Vulnerable Children $22 million $14.5 million $22 million
Family Planning/Reproductive Health $523.95 million $538 million $461 million
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria $1.35 billion $1.107 billion $1.35 billion
HIV/AIDS – USAID $330 million $330 million $330 million
Microbicides $45 million $45 million $45 million

International Organizations and Programs

UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) $132 million $116.6 million $0*
UN Women (formerly UNIFEM) $7.5 million $7.5 million $0
UN Population Fund (UNFPA) $35 million $35.3 million $0

*The committee notes that funds under global health programs may be made available as a contribution to UNICEF.

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