By Adrian Wigston and Annie Kim

April 28, 2020

Last week, many of the world’s leading international development firms and NGOs sent letters to Congress requesting that any further emergency appropriations bill include at least $12 billion to fund America’s support in addressing the needs of developing countries’ response to the COVID-19 global health pandemic, including emergency economic relief, humanitarian assistance, and ongoing frontline operations.  The NGOs will likely be tasked with development of new vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments in vulnerable communities.  These organizations have prior experience with epidemics and understand how global pandemics can devastate already fragile health systems, weaken governance and educational systems, and exacerbate already struggling economies.  As a whole, the 35 for-profit firms and 104 NGOs that made these requests work in the United States and internationally, supporting the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and other federal agencies.

The NGOs are members and partners of InterAction, an alliance of U.S.-based NGOs, while the for-profit development firms are united through the Professional Service Council’s (PSC’s) Council of International Development Companies (CIDC).  Both of these coalitions recognize the nexus between our national security and the global response to COVID-19 and the disruptions it is causing.  As noted by the PSC, the pandemic has caused disruptions to the health and livelihoods of billions around the globe, including many developing countries that are key allies and trading partners of the United States.

On Friday April 24th, the President signed House Resolution 266 increasing authorized spending under the CARES Act.  Congress did not approve additional funding for foreign aid as part of the bill, but InterAction and the CIDC will likely continue to voice this need.

Click below to view the letters sent by each organization:

InterAction Letter to Congress from 104 NGOs

CIDC Letter to Congress from 35 International Development Firms