June 17, 2015

Faith Leaders Meet With Congressional Leaders on Poverty-Focused Programs

A diverse group of faith leaders from across the country is visiting Capitol Hill today to ask their congressional representatives to prioritize funding for global health, development assistance, humanitarian response, and peacebuilding-related programs in the federal government’s International Affairs budget. The faith leaders are also advocating for an end to sequestration cuts on successful humanitarian and development programs that invest in children and families around the world.

“It is our faith that motivates and guides our actions here today,” said Eric Mitchell, director of government relations at Bread for the World. “As people of faith we recognize especially that these programs are vital lifelines for those in desperate need and promote the inviolable dignity of each person.” The leaders are from Christian, Jewish, and other faith traditions.

The parts of the budget that carry out development and humanitarian assistance are known as poverty-focused development assistance (PFDA) accounts. PFDA accounts provide both humanitarian relief and long-term, sustainable solutions to the problems of poverty and hunger. The work takes a wide variety of forms-agricultural development and nutrition, refugee assistance, immediate disaster assistance, global health, education, gender equality, water and sanitation, and more.

The House Appropriations Committee passed the fiscal year 2016 State and Foreign Operations bill last week funding the Global Health, Development Assistance, Migration and Refugee Assistance and International Disaster Assistance accounts at or above FY 2015 levels. Funding has not been restored for international and some multilateral organizations and programs.

The Senate is expected to pass its FY 2016 Senate Appropriations State and Foreign Operations bill in the next few weeks.

“As Congress looks to balance the budget we ask that they remember that the moral measure of any society is how it treats the most vulnerable. We must accelerate, not pull back, from the many gains made in recent years. We urge members of Congress to fund PFDA accounts at or greater than the FY 2015 level,” concluded Mitchell.

from our Resource Library

For Education

  • Election Resources

    One of the best times to raise the issues of hunger and poverty is during election campaigns. Engage candidates in your state/district on hunger and poverty using our elections resources.
  • Racially Equitable Responses to Hunger During COVID-19 and Beyond

    By Marlysa D. Gamblin and Kathleen King

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as when a person or household does not have regular, reliable access to the foods needed for good health. Black, Indigenous, and Other People of Color (BIPOC) have historically had higher...

  • Fact Sheet: COVID-19 Global Pandemic, Better Nutrition Protects Lives

    With the coronavirus now spreading in low-resource contexts and new waves of infection expected in the coming year, better nutrition for vulnerable people is more important than ever.

For Faith

  • Finding Hope, Ending Hunger on Both Sides of the Border: A Bilingual Latino Devotional

    Devotional writers challenge us to feel the Spirit of God within us and to hear God’s urgent call to demand justice so all can put food on the table.
  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    “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.

    The Bible on...

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

For Advocacy


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