This week, Invisible Children joined more than thirty other organizations to urge Congress to oppose a White House proposal to rescind $30 million from the Complex Crises Fund.


You probably have a few questions about what’s going on, what it means, and why it matters. Let’s break it down.

What is the Complex Crises Fund and why is it important?

You can think of the Complex Crises Fund as a sort of rainy day fund for responding to crises quickly in order to prevent widespread atrocities. The Fund was set up so the US Agency for International Development (USAID) would have a flexible source of funding that can quickly be activated to respond to crises and support long-term post-conflict recovery.

The idea behind the Complex Crises Fund is that, if the US government can quickly respond as a crisis or conflict begins to emerge, a longer-term crisis can be prevented, potentially saving thousands of lives as well as the need for more costly and invasive interventions in the future. However, it can often take too long to secure funding for these types of immediate interventions, so the Complex Crises Fund was created to make funds more accessible when needed.

Why does the White House want to rescind funding from the Complex Crises Fund?

According to its proposal, the White House sees the $30 million it proposes to be rescinded as “unnecessary and not a priority for the Administration.” The White House believes that funds needed to prevent crises can be found in other budgets. It is part of a larger recessions proposal that, if supported by Congress would rescind more than $15 billion in funding previously allocated across US Government agencies and programs.

What would it mean for Congress to rescind funding from the Complex Crises Fund?

If Congress were to agree to the White House proposal, it means they would be removing $30 million of what is set aside as part of the Complex Crises Fund, essentially emptying the rainy day fund of everything that isn’t already being used. The Fund itself would still exist and could be refilled again but, until then, the US Government’s ability to respond quickly to prevent atrocities would be much more limited.

Why is it important that the Complex Crises Fund remain funded?

In short, it’s a good investment that could save many lives. In a time when violent conflict is on the rise around the world, the Complex Crises Fund is one of the US Government’s best tools for acting in times of crisis. Draining the Complex Crises Fund will prevent timely and effective responses that are not only more cost-effective in the long run but could also save thousands of lives for years to come.

At Invisible Children, we believe that our liberty is bound together with that of the most vulnerable among us. When the safety or freedom of people anywhere is threatened, it’s not only our obligation but also in our best interest as a global community to stand together for justice. We cannot do that without mechanisms like the Complex Crises Fund.

That’s why we joined more than thirty organizations in sending a letter to Congress urging them not to rescind $30 million from the Complex Crises Fund. You can read the letter here.