EPIC joined more than 30 national groups yesterday in sending a clear message to Members of Congress: "U.S. can and should do more to rebuild and stabilize Iraq through increased U.S. support for civil society, peacebuilding, humanitarian relief, and responsible economic development."
With Congressional appropriators preparing to "mark up" the President's $93 billion emergency supplemental request, the groups sent a letter to every elected representative, asking them to replenish critically short funds needed to save lives -- both American and Iraqi.
The letter was initiated by the Iraq Peace and Development Working Group (IPDWG), a newly-formed NGO working group advocating policy improvements to reduce human suffering and conflict in Iraq. The letter's recommendations reflect broad consensus among agencies involved in life-saving relief efforts in Iraq and the Gulf region. Among groups signed on to the letter are 20 faith-based organizations and 10 operational relief and development NGOs.
The additional funding that the letter recommends would represent only a fraction of the total supplemental, yet make an enormous difference in the lives of millions of people affected by the conflict. Restored U.S. funding would help millions of Iraqis displaced in and outside their country, compensate thousands of families harmed in the conflict, restore jobs for more than 150,000 Iraqis, and support ongoing USAID programs that have demonstrated a considerable measure of success in Iraq.
For the full text of the letter and an up-to-date list of signers, click here.