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Monday, March 8th, 2021

Measure targets worldwide violence, instability

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A group of lawmakers recently praised the House advancement of legislation designed to reduce worldwide violence, enhance engagement, and address instability in other countries.

Reps. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Ted Poe (R-TX), Adam Smith (D-WA) and Bill Keating (D-MA) said the Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act prevents the total breakdown of government while also denying terrorist groups the unstable, fertile territory from which they recruit.

“Violence and brutal conflict costs the global economy over $14 trillion a year and creates environments where large-scale international responses are needed to stop the struggle and deliver humanitarian aid,” McCaul, Committee on Homeland Security chairman, said. “This legislation directs the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the State Department and the Defense Department to work with other relevant agencies in crafting an integrated strategy in a number of these fragile states.”

McCaul said by proactively prioritizing the necessary resources Congress will be better positioned to eliminate terrorist safe havens, stimulate global stability and avoid large-scale international interventions.

“Around the world, levels of violence are at a 25-year high, driving massive instability,” Engel, ranking member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, said. “This is global security threat, as fragile, unstable states are breeding grounds for criminals and terrorists. Over the years, we have learned a lot about what works to stabilize conflicts and prevent violence from breaking out.”

The legislation aims to charge the State Department, Defense Department and USAID with designating at least six priority countries or regions and implementing 10-year plans for addressing violence and fragility in those areas.