The Federal Government’s Fiscal New Year 2012 began on October 1. But hold the celebrations: Congress has not passed the appropriations for FY 2012.
To avoid a government shut-down, Congress passed a stopgap bill to keep the government running until November 18. That gives the House and Senate a few weeks to figure out how to allocate the $1.043 trillion that can be spent for FY 2012 among the 12 appropriations bills that fund the government.
Caught up in all this is the U.S. Government’s annual voluntary contribution to UNICEF. The Senate Appropriations Committee and the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations each crafted bills on international assistance appropriations for FY 2012, but neither bill will be considered by either the full House or Senate. What will happen is that the House and Senate Appropriations Committees will try to write a bill upon which they can agree, based on the spending allocations they work out. Each chamber then will vote upon the final product, probably combined with other appropriations in a larger bill. This is pretty much what happened for FY 2011.
UNICEF’s funding for FY 2011 was preserved at the FY 2010 level of $132.25 million. While UNICEF supporters have continued to press for increased funding for UNICEF’s life-saving work for the world’s children, we were relieved that UNICEF was not among the many programs that were cut as part of the deficit reduction effort.
For FY 2012, we are asking Senators and Representatives not to cut UNICEF, but to keep it at its current level of $132.25 million.
Although the number of under-five child deaths has dropped from more than 12 million in 1990 to 7.6 million in 2010, 21,000 children still are dying every day from preventable causes. We believe it should be ZERO! The contribution to UNICEF from the U.S. Government is helping UNICEF to save the lives of vulnerable children around the world.
If you agree with us that saving children should be a priority of U.S. foreign policy, please take a minute to urge your legislators to support $132.25 million for UNICEF for FY 2012.