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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.
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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