Faith Leaders to Meet with U.S. Senators and Urge Them to Protect the World’s Poor
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Washington, DC, November 2, 2011
Bread for the World’s President Rev. David Beckmann, along with several other religious leaders will meet with senators today. The faith leaders will urge policy makers to support poverty-focused development assistance (PFDA) programs in the federal budget.
“This diverse coalition of faith leaders are here in Washington to let Congress know that the world’s poor cannot endure another decrease in U.S. funding for anti-poverty programs,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “As people of faith, it is our moral responsibility to form a circle of protection around funding and programs that support the poorest people in the poorest places.”
PFDA makes up less than one percent of the federal budget. Foreign assistance saves lives and is an important component of U.S. national security. The budget deal that members of Congress approved in August requires limits to the overall amount Congress can spend. This is the first time humanitarian aid for conditions such as the famine in the Horn of Africa, assistance to small farmers, nutrition programs for mothers and children, clean water programs for villages, and life-saving vaccines are competing with military spending for federal dollars in the fiscal year 2012 budget (FY12).
“As people of faith, we believe the moral measure of the budget debate is how the most poor and vulnerable people fare. Every proposal needs to be looked at in terms of how it treats those Jesus called ‘the least of these,’” said Rev. Beckmann.
The Senate is expected to vote on the state and foreign operations appropriations bill this week. It is likely that drastic cuts to current funding levels will be proposed.
Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.
Kristen Y. Archer, Media Relations Manager, 202-688-1118
Fito Moreno, Media Relations Specialist, 202-688-1138