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Opinion
The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.
 

Letter: Invest in peace building

By Christine Fead, VANCOUVER
Published: September 28, 2023, 6:00am

The International Day of Peace underscores the urgent need for peace building around the world as communities are challenged by ongoing violence and political instability intensified by the impacts of climate change, the pandemic and global food insecurity.

The Institute for Economics and Peace found that every dollar invested in peace building “carries a potential $16 reduction in the cost of armed conflict.” Prioritizing peace building prevents human suffering and saves U.S. taxpayer dollars. Atrocities Prevention is dedicated to the prevention of mass atrocities and genocide, which helps to identify the top 30 at-risk countries to develop targeted response plans. The Complex Crisis Fund fills short-term gaps during emergencies, enabling USAID to respond to early warning signs of escalating conflicts. Reconciliation Programs aim to heal social divides over the long term in bringing adversarial groups in safe spaces to address divisions and work toward common goals.

I strongly urge Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez to invest in three core accounts that fund prevention and peace building: Atrocities Prevention, Complex Crisis Fund, and Reconciliation Programs for fiscal year 2024.

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