May 7, 2014

Leaders from Various Faiths Call on Congress to Protect Critical Anti-Hunger Programs

Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World joins faith leaders from across the country and partner organizations of the Interfaith Working Group on Foreign Assistance (IWGFA) today in urging members of Congress to protect important foreign assistance programs from damaging cuts.

“U.S. leadership and American compassion have played a critical role in reducing hunger and poverty around the world,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “We’ve got to let Congress know that now is not the time to pull back. There is more work to be done to protect vulnerable people from going hungry.”

The U.S. spends less than one-half of one percent of the entire federal budget on international humanitarian and development assistance. Coupled with private-sector investments and partnerships with experienced NGOs, this funding helps save millions of lives every year.

Earlier this year, the Obama administration released a fiscal year 2015 budget, which included a reduction to global health and Feed the Future, cuts to international disaster assistance and migration and refugee assistance, and more. Shortly thereafter, the House Budget Committee called for an 11 percent reduction to the international affairs budget.

“If enacted, these cuts would jeopardize crucial funding for lifesaving programs—ultimately reversing many of the gains the world has worked so hard to achieve,” Beckmann added. “Millions of lives are at stake, and lawmakers must ensure that vulnerable people are protected.”

Congressional leaders are now determining FY 2015 funding levels for programs for maternal and child nutrition, agricultural development, global health, education, water and sanitation, and more. After a day of anti-hunger advocacy training at Bread for the World, faith leaders will meet with their members of Congress and remind them that, despite remarkable accomplishments to date, much remains to be done. 

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