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Washington, D.C., – Dozens of faith leaders representing millions of faithful voters will descend on Capitol Hill today to celebrate the advances made for child hunger and health. They will also urge lawmakers to increase funding for international relief and development.
“As faith leaders of all stripes, we are reminding lawmakers that we must act in accordance with our country’s values,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “The world is making tremendous strides against hunger and poverty, yet as anyone who pays attention to the news can attest, we continue to face significant challenges. Much more needs to be done.”
At less than one half of one percent of the total federal budget, foreign assistance is one of the most effective global investments the U.S. makes. The world is witnessing the greatest improvement in child survival and health in human history, and it is thanks in large part to U.S. foreign assistance and millions of purpose-driven Americans.
Yet, despite remarkable progress that has been made, 17,000 children still die every day, mostly from preventable diseases and illnesses. The faith leaders will remind lawmakers how vital foreign assistance is to saving and stabilizing the lives of the most vulnerable, while also building U.S. trade partners and increasing human security throughout the world, which ultimately increases security at home.
"Every year, millions of people around the world have access to clean water, food resources, health care, and other vital necessities thanks to U.S. humanitarian and poverty-focused international aid,” said Rev. John L. McCullough, president and CEO of Church World Service. “As we face the largest humanitarian refugee crisis since the end of World War II, it is important the U.S. Congress should increase its funding for international relief and development.”
The Interfaith Working Group on Foreign Assistance (IWGFA) brings together Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and other faith communities to advocate for robust funding of humanitarian and poverty-focused development assistance. The IWGFA currently includes over 50 participating organizations. Bread for the World and Church World Service co-chair the IWGFA.
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.
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