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Des Moines, Iowa – Bread for the World President Rev. David Beckmann today cited two significant threats to progress against domestic and global hunger: budget cuts and the surge of global conflict. Beckmann was speaking at a news conference during events surrounding the 2017 World Food Prize.
“We have made tremendous progress against hunger in the United States and around the world,” Beckmann said. “But budget cuts proposed by Congress and global conflict threaten this progress and will increase hunger.”
At least 20 million people in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan, and northeast Nigeria suffer from near-famine conditions, and hunger is on the rise globally for the first time in almost a decade. These circumstances are largely the result of conflict.
“We know that the budget cuts and tax proposals, currently under consideration in Congress, will lead to significant cuts to programs that help people living in hunger and poverty,” Beckmann added.
Beckmann laid out several policy recommendations lawmakers and the administration could implement to keep up the progress against hunger.
“One, don’t cut funding for programs that help people living in hunger and poverty. Two, the U.S. should do more to address global conflict and the near-famine conditions. Three, pass a robust, forward-looking Farm Bill that fully funds domestic and global anti-hunger programs.”
The Farm Bill is the most significant piece of legislation related to hunger in the U.S. Programs covered by the Farm Bill include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), The Emergency Food Assistance Program, and senior nutrition. It also contains global assistance programs such as McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, and Food for Peace.
The U.S. has been doing its part against hunger. Bread was instrumental in securing more than $1 billion in the fiscal year 2017 budget for famine relief. Beckmann also lauded President Trump’s appointment of Mark Green as United States Agency for International Development (USAID) administrator and his nomination of David Beasley as World Food Programme executive director.
“We have come too far to turn back now,” Beckmann said. “Because of the progress we’ve made the end of hunger is within our reach. But we won’t get there with budget cuts.”
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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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to respond to changes in need, making it well suited to respond to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition.
In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.