Bread for the World, the World Bank, and leaders of 30 faith groups and organizations issued today a call to end hunger and extreme poverty by 2030.
“Now that it has become clear that it is feasible to end extreme poverty, faith communities are committing ourselves to ramp up our advocacy. We are building a movement that will translate this possibility into political commitment,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World.
Since 1990, the number of people living in extreme poverty or on $1.25 a day has been halved to less than one billion. “This unprecedented progress in ending hunger and extreme poverty is an example of our loving God moving through time, transforming our world,” Beckmann said.
Research conducted by Bread for the World and the World Bank shows that ending hunger and extreme poverty is no longer a dream, but a possibility in 15 years.
“Poverty’s imprisonment of more than a billion men, women, and children must end. Now is the time to boldly act to free the next generation from extreme poverty’s grip,” the #faith2endpoverty partners said in a document, “Ending Extreme Poverty: A Moral and Spiritual Imperative.”
Many countries, like Bangladesh, Brazil, and the United Kingdom have made huge strides in cutting hunger and poverty. However, hunger and poverty has increased in the United States. Today, 49 million Americans, including 15 million children, live in households that struggle to put food on the table.
Still, powerful forces in the U.S. Congress have been pushing for deep cuts in anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs. The cuts to these programs have so far been minimal thanks in part to a coalition of faith groups working to ending hunger.
“Now is the time for the United States to step up to the plate and make ending hunger and poverty a priority,” Beckmann said. “As Christians, we believe the moral measure of a country is based on how the most poor and vulnerable people fare.”
The #faith2endpoverty partnership is a result of the first high-level meeting between faith leaders and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. “Ending Extreme Poverty: A Moral and Spiritual Imperative” was released as part of the organization’s spring meeting.