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The new administration faces the largest increase in domestic and global hunger since the Great Recession as a result of the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 has revealed how tenuous and fragile the gains have been for low-income households in the United States. Hardest hit are communities of color and households with children.
Churches and other faith communities around the country are serving their neighbors through soup kitchens and food pantries. These services are critical, but they are not sustainable, nor do they reach all in need.
It is the role of the U.S. government to implement policies and programs and make systemic changes that promote equity and create opportunities for people to free themselves from hunger and to thrive, and we join with people of many faith traditions in urging elected leaders to make such changes.
Here are some recommendations Bread for the World supports, alongside partner organizations and faith traditions, and has shared with the Biden-Harris administration to complete during its first 100 days in office:
In the First 100 Days – Domestic
Lead a strong and equitable domestic COVID-19 response and recovery.
To save lives and to get people back to work, it is critical to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control. It is also critical to ensure that people do not go hungry as the country takes steps to deal with the health crisis.
In the First 100 Days - Globally
Lead a strong and equitable global COVID-19 response and recovery.
Due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions and the global economic and trade slowdown, many low- and middle-income countries are facing significant fiscal challenges. Many are struggling to meet the basic needs of their people and to service their international debt. The United States should:
Elevate development and humanitarian assistance in the U.S. foreign policy toolbox.
U.S. foreign policy relies on defense, diplomacy, and development and humanitarian assistance. Development and humanitarian assistance are significantly under-resourced despite the fact that U.S. investments in reducing hunger and malnutrition contribute significantly to making the world a better and safer place.
Reinvest in multilateralism and restore principled U.S. leadership in multilateral agencies.
The United States cannot and should not take global action alone; strong multilateral partnerships are critical for sustainable and more equitable recovery from COVID-19 and economic growth and development.
It is the role of the U.S. government to implement policies and programs and make systemic changes that promote equity and create opportunities for people to free themselves from hunger and to thrive.
By Jordan Teague, senior international policy advisor
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Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition in the fiscal year 2020 budget.
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