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Urge passage of foreign aid bill

By Rev. Tony Vincent on November 15, 2009
© The Greenville News

With all of the attention in Washington focused on health-care legislation, it is easy for the rest of the important work of our legislators to go unnoticed. However, Sen. Jim DeMint has an opportunity to influence legislation that would reform foreign aid and bring relief and opportunity to poor and hungry people around the world.

S.1524 is a bipartisan bill seeking to change the way the federal government does foreign assistance. The bill makes our assistance more effective and accountable, it rebuilds the policy, planning and evaluation of the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID), and it gives a stronger voice to that agency so there is a distinct voice when important U.S. foreign policy decisions are made. As one who has seen first-hand the benefit and the abuse of U.S. foreign aid in other countries, I see this bill as a wonderful opportunity for improvement in the way we as Americans care for the most neglected people in the world.

The bottom line is that more aid could reach the poor and hungry of our world, as bureaucracy and governmental structuring are lessened through this bill. This impacts our standing in the world in myriad positive ways, which is why Republicans and Democrats have signed on as co-sponsors. To date, Sen. DeMint has not stated his opinion on this legislation.

Please join me in urging Sen. DeMint to co-sponsor this important piece of legislation so more of our foreign aid can get to the places and the people who need it most.

Rev. Tony Vincent


The writer is a member of Bread for the World, www.bread.org.

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