USA: Africa Funding, Sat, 19 Sep 1998

USA: Africa Funding, Sat, 19 Sep 1998

USA: Africa Funding
Date distributed (ymd): 980919
Document reposted by APIC

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Region: Continent-Wide
Issue Areas: +economy/development+ +US policy focus+
Summary Contents:
This posting contains a special action alert from the Washington Office on Africa, calling for support for higher levels of funding for Africa-related budget items in the Fiscal Year 1999 congressional budget. The appropriations bills have now been passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives. House and Senate conferees are expected to meet soon to reconcile the versions passed by the two houses.

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Note: This posting, as particularly applicable for US residents, is being distributed only to the addresses on the Africa Policy Electronic Distribution List that are identifiable as on US-registered host computers. It is not possible to filter by address non-US residents on such computer hosts as and other US-registered hosts that have overseas subscribers.



Washington Office on Africa
September 18, 1998

For more information contact:
Leon Spencer, Executive Director
Washington Office on Africa
212 East Capitol St.
Washington, DC 20003
Phone: 202-547-7503; Fax: 202-547-7505

Please note that the Washington Office on Africa, which formerly shared offices and staff with the Africa Policy Information Center, now has its own offices and staff, in a separate location. Communications intended to reach both organizations should be sent both to WOA and to APIC.

ISSUE: Congress is working to pass foreign operations appropriations bills for fiscal year 1999 that will directly affect development funding and debt relief for Africa. The Senate has passed a bill, and the House is expected to approve its version soon. Africa-related funding levels in the bills are far below the Administration's requests, with the Senate making much deeper cuts than the House. It is important that lawmakers hear now from those who support greater funding for Africa.

ACTION: Contact the chairs and ranking minority members of the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees on Foreign Operations. Emphasize that funding levels for Africa are already far too low, and urge them to support the highest possible funding levels when the House and Senate reconcile their versions of the foreign operations appropriations bills.

WHEN: Immediately!


Senator Mitch McConnell, Chair
Senate Foreign Operations Subcommittee
Dirksen SOB, Room 142
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-2451; Fax: 202-224-2499

Representative Sonny Callahan, Chair
House Foreign Operations Subcommittee
The Capitol, H-150
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-4931; Fax: 202-225-0562

Senator Patrick Leahy
Russell SOB, Room 433
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-4242; Fax: 202-224-3595

Rep. Nancy Pelosi
Rayburn HOB, Room 2457
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-4965; Fax: n/a

BACKGROUND: The Senate passed its FY 1999 foreign operations appropriations bill (S. 2334) on Sept. 2. The bill provides approximately $12.6 billion, close to the overall spending level for FY 1998. However, it severely cuts all Africa-related accounts, including a 43 percent funding reduction for the African Development Foundation.

The House of Representatives approved a $12.5 billion foreign operations bill on Sept. 17. Despite the overall reductions from the President's request, the bill provides more for Africa-related accounts than the Senate version, with a 6 percent reduction in funds for the African Development Foundation.

A House-Senate conference committee will next attempt to reconcile the differences between the bills. The compromise bill will then be voted on by each chamber, and if passed, will go to the President for his signature. If a bill is not signed into law by Sept. 30, the last day of the current fiscal year, a continuing resolution will be needed to keep the government running pending further negotiations.

A presidential veto is possible. The House bill includes the controversial Mexico City language on international family planning and abortion, which has triggered a presidential veto of other legislation in the past. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright continues to urge a presidential veto of the foreign operations bill because of the overall low levels of funding.

Specific Africa-related appropriations for FY 1999 are as follows:

* African Development Foundation (ADF): Administration requested $14 million; Senate appropriated $8 million, House $13.16 million. The Administration's request keeps ADF funding stable at the 1998 level with no increase, while the Senate appropriation would cut the 1998 funding level by 43 percent. ADF, a small U.S. government agency, supports nongovernmental grass-roots development efforts in Africa.

* Debt relief: Administration requested $72 million, including $35 million earmarked for African countries that have implemented economic reforms. Senate appropriated $25 million, House $36 million. The House committee report recommends that $31.7 million of the appropriation be made available for concessional debt relief in Sub-Saharan Africa.

* Development assistance to Africa: Administration requested $730 million. This reflects suggested funding for development activities in Africa, but does not include a separate account or earmark for the Development Fund for Africa. The Senate advised a minimum of $500 million in their report language. The House has set funding at last year's level of $700 million.

* African Development Bank/Fund: Administration requested $155 million; Senate appropriated $5 million, House $28 million. The African Development Fund works with the World Bank to provide multilateral lending for infrastructure and other projects in Africa, including power plants, road building and education.


Additonal on-line action resource from InterAction.

Interaction, "a coalition of over 150 US-based non-profits working to promote human dignity and development around the world," notes that "less than half of one percent of the federal budget goes to world hunger and poverty." Illustrating the point with a pizza pie chart, the site also provides a sign-up form for a letter to the President and Congress, and other background information.

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Date: Sat, 19 Sep 1998 10:46:42 -0500
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Subject: USA: Africa Funding

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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