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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.
Afghanistan would be considered likely to have high rates of hunger because at least two of the major causes of global hunger affect it—armed conflict and fragile governmental institutions.
Malnutrition is responsible for nearly half of all preventable deaths among children under 5. Every year, the world loses hundreds of thousands of young children and babies to hunger-related causes.
Bread for the World is calling on the Biden-Harris administration and Congress to build a better 1,000-Days infrastructure in the United States.
“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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Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition.
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