Statement of 66 Organizations in Support of the Humanitarian Assistance Facilitation Act of 2013

Media Contact :

Cynthia Colin
Corporate Communications Senior Leader
ccolin@worldvision.org
m 202.436.1266
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Highlights

  • The international humanitarian aid community and charitable organizations in the U.S. applaud the introduction of the Humanitarian Assistance Facilitation Act of 2013 (HAFA) (H.R. 3526).
  • The Humanitarian Assistance Facilitation Act provides a limited authorization for responsible humanitarian aid organizations to deliver lifesaving aid to civilians living in areas under the control of groups on U.S. sanctions and terrorist lists.

The international humanitarian aid community and charitable organizations in the U.S. applaud the introduction of the Humanitarian Assistance Facilitation Act of 2013 (HAFA) (H.R. 3526) and thank Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ), Jim McGovern (D-MA), and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) for their leadership on this critical issue.

We call on Congress to pass this legislation quickly. Some aspects of U.S. counter-terrorism laws have had the unintended consequence of discouraging, delaying and obstructing life-saving humanitarian assistance to men, women and children in great need who have the misfortune of living in areas where terrorist groups operate. And they limit efforts to end armed conflicts that cause much misery.

Through the speedy passage of HAFA, Congress can take an important step to ensure the responsible and efficient delivery of humanitarian aid, facilitate programs that work to end armed conflict, and prevent future slowdowns in aid and peace-building caused by existing laws and bureaucracy.

The Humanitarian Assistance Facilitation Act provides a limited authorization for responsible humanitarian aid organizations to deliver lifesaving aid to civilians living in areas under the control of groups on U.S. sanctions and terrorist lists. It provides for multiple safeguards to ensure humanitarian assistance reaches the most vulnerable people, without benefitting sanctioned and terrorist groups. HAFA also appropriately rebalances the current risk of legal prosecution that organizations responding to human suffering face if they operate in areas where such groups are present.

This bill strengthens national security by helping civilian populations become less dependent on terrorist entities and provides a counterpoint to terrorist propaganda by demonstrating the good will of the American government and people.

As organizations committed to helping people survive and recover from disasters and conflicts, we are committed to delivering assistance impartially and effectively. Ensuring that aid reaches only vulnerable civilians is critical to our humanitarian mission. Current law forces us and our donors to choose between helping people survive disasters and avoiding criminal prosecution, as was the case in Somalia from 2010 to 2012. With HAFA, we can focus on doing what we are called to do: helping people survive and overcome adversity, no matter where in the world they live.

ACDI/VOCAExternal Link
Action Against HungerExternal Link
Adeso — African Development SolutionsExternal Link
Alliance for PeacebuildingExternal Link
American Friends Service CommitteeExternal Link
American Red CrossExternal Link
American Relief Agency for the Horn of Africa (ARAHA)External Link
Baptist World AllianceExternal Link
Catholic Relief ServicesExternal Link
CARE USAExternal Link
CBMExternal Link
CDA Collaborative Learning ProjectsExternal Link
Charity & Security NetworkExternal Link
Church World ServiceExternal Link
Conciliation ResourcesExternal Link
Constitution ProjectExternal Link
Convoy of HopeExternal Link
Defending Dissent FoundationExternal Link
Episcopal Relief & DevelopmentExternal Link
Evangelicals for Middle East UnderstandingExternal Link
Evangelicals for Social ActionExternal Link
Friends Committee on National LegislationExternal Link
Genocide WatchExternal Link
Global LinksExternal Link
Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of ChristExternal Link
Global RightsExternal Link
Good360External Link
Grassroots InternationalExternal Link
Heifer InternationalExternal Link
Helen Keller InternationalExternal Link
HelpAge USAExternal Link
Human AppealExternal Link
Human Rights WatchExternal Link
InterActionExternal Link
International Center for Not-For-Profit LawExternal Link
International Center for Religion and DiplomacyExternal Link
International Medical CorpsExternal Link
International Rescue CommitteeExternal Link
IntraHealthExternal Link
IRD (International Relief & Development)External Link
Joint Council on International Children’s ServicesExternal Link
KinderUSAExternal Link
Life for Relief and DevelopmentExternal Link
Lutheran World ReliefExternal Link
Mercy CorpsExternal Link
Operation USAExternal Link
Oxfam AmericaExternal Link
Paragon Philanthropy LLCExternal Link
PCI (Project Concern International)External Link
Peace Appeal FoundationExternal Link
Peace Development FundExternal Link
Planet AidExternal Link
Plan International USAExternal Link
Refugees InternationalExternal Link
ReSurge InternationalExternal Link
Save the ChildrenExternal Link
STANDExternal Link
Stop Hunger NowExternal Link
The USA for UNHCRExternal Link
The Hunger ProjectExternal Link
Trickle UpExternal Link
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness MinistriesExternal Link
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)External Link
Unitarian Universalist Service CommitteeExternal Link
World NeighborsExternal Link
World Vision

About World Vision:
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