This is an August 2007 copy of a website maintained by the Center for International Policy. It is posted here for historical purposes. The Center for International Policy no longer maintains this resource.

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Last Updated:6/13/06
Speech by Rep. Danny Davis (D-Illinois), June 9, 2006

Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of the McGovern, Leach, Payne, Lofgren, McCollum Amendment that increases funding by $30 million for the U.S. Emergency Refugee & Migration Assistance Fund (ERMA). It will meet this additional expense by reducing funding for Plan Colombia by $30 million.

ERMA helps the United States respond rapidly to humanitarian disasters around the world. Unfortunately, as we have seen a number of humanitarian disasters recently such as the ongoing genocide in the Darfur region of the Sudan this funding is desperately needed. ERMA funds have been used to meet the needs of victims of the October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, address the humanitarian crisis in the West Bank and Gaza, help stave off widespread starvation in drought-stricken Somalia, and aid refugee repatriation and reintegration in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A $30 million increase in ERMA funding will greatly assist some of the poorest and most vulnerable individuals in the world today--displaced refugees.

In contrast, we have spent nearly $5 billion since 2000 on coca eradication in the Andes. This year we will over $800 million on the Colombia government's coca eradication efforts with 80% of this funding going to the Colombian military. Despite this enormous outlay of money, coca cultivation in the Andes has only increased over the last six years. Furthermore, the Colombian government and military have the dubious distinction of having among the worst human rights records in the world.

I am proud to support the McGovern, Leach, Payne, Lofgren, McCollum Amendment and encourage a ``yes'' vote.

As of June 13, 2006 this page was also available at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/R?r109:FLD001:H53648

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