By Jordie Hannum, Better World Campaign Director

Well, this is certainly not how I wanted to start 2014: This week, Congress sent President Obama a final spending bill for the rest of the year that underfunds United Nations peacekeeping by 12 percent, cuts funds for vital missions like South Sudan, and zeroes out funding for the newest UN mission in Mali.

Right now, peacekeepers in places like Mali and South Sudan are risking their lives to restore peace and democracy, and we’re repaying them by denying the resources they need to do the jobs we asked for.

That’s right: We asked the UN Security Council to send peacekeepers to Mali and South Sudan, and our failure to put our money where our mouth is jeopardizes our reputation as a global leader.

After all, how can we now, in good faith, ask the UN to go into places with escalating violence – like the increasingly volatile Central African Republic – if we refuse to share the burden? The U.S. provides almost no troops for these incredibly dangerous tasks, so withholding financial resources will be an extra blow to the countries who are sending brave men and women to the frontlines.

Better World Campaign supporters are voicing their frustrations on this timely issue. To learn more about how they’re educating Congress on the need to speak up for UN peacekeepers, visit the Better World Campaign.

With enough of us standing by the UN’s side, we can make sure this doesn’t become a new trend.