Letter to U.S. House of Representatives on Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act of 2018, April 2, 2018

Year Published
  • 2018
  • English

April 2, 2018

The Honorable Ed Royce
United States Representative
House Committee on Foreign Affairs
2170 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Eliot Engel
United States Representative
Ranking Member
House Committee on Foreign Affairs
2170 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel:

As Chair of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, I write to support the Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act of 2018 (H.R. 5273). Pope Francis has continuously urged developed nations to reach out to the peripheries of our world and to serve the most vulnerable and neglected. We are called to serve the "least of these" (Matthew 25).

A recent report by the Brookings Institute, entitled "Leave No Country Behind – Ending Poverty in the Toughest Places," shows that by 2030 about 80% of those people living in extreme poverty will be in 31 countries where weak states, corruption, poor economic conditions and violent conflict prevail. Tragically, these same countries currently receive only 23% of global assistance. Many of these fragile nations are either currently embroiled in violent conflict, are struggling to rebuild in the wake of such conflict, or live in fear of an outbreak of destructive fighting.

The Global Initiative to Reduce Fragility and Violence Act of 2018 will help our government intensify its focus on fragile countries. The aim is to reduce the number of violent conflicts, deaths and forcibly displaced persons. These efforts will also reduce the need to send our young American men and women into harm's way to curb violence and terrorism. As your legislation suggests, it is important to develop county-level programs and to engage in stakeholder consultations to develop, implement and evaluate programs and foster inclusive development.

In addition, I urge you to add language about forging strategic partnerships with faith-based groups in these countries. Current experience in places like Colombia, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic demonstrate the important role of Church leaders and faith-based institutions in ending violence and promoting peace and development.

Our Committee will work to support passage of this constructive, bi-partisan legislation.

Sincerely yours,

Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio
Archbishop for the Military Services, USA
Chair, Committee on International Justice and Peace