World Vision, ONE and Broad Faith-Based Coalition Urge U.S. Senate on Humanitarian Aid
WASHINGTON, March 1, 2011
30 organizations join to call on Congress to reverse cuts to life-saving, effective international assistance in U.S. budget
WASHINGTON, March 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A coalition of 30 Christian and Jewish organizations in the U.S. have joined together with the ONE Campaign to urge senators now considering fiscal 2011 budget measures to reverse the disproportionate and devastating cuts to international assistance approved by House lawmakers last week.
In a letter to Senate members today, leaders of an array of faith-based groups voiced deep concern for the vulnerable families worldwide who would be put in jeopardy by the drastic reductions to foreign disaster assistance, food aid, global health and other life-saving programs. The reductions to those accounts far outstrip cuts to other discretionary spending, in percentage terms, while making minimal impact to savings in the overall budget.
"We believe it is morally unacceptable that the deepest cuts have targeted programs that are saving lives and investing in our own national security," says the letter, signed by Richard Stearns, president of World Vision U.S., and Sheila Nix, U.S. executive director of the ONE Campaign. "The cuts reverse broad bipartisan support behind these programs and jeopardize lives across the world."
"We urge you to take bold steps to bring spending and revenue in line, focusing particularly on the major budget categories and tax policies that add the most to our deficit," the groups concurred in the letter. By contrast, these humanitarian accounts represent less than 1/2 of 1 percent of the total federal budget.
Along with World Vision and the ONE Campaign, 28 religious groups also joined the letter, including Adventist Development and Relief Agency, Alliance to End Hunger, American Baptist Churches, American Jewish World Service, American Leprosy Missions, Bread for the World, Catholic Medical Mission Board, Children's AIDS Fund, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, ECHO, Evangelical Environmental Network, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Evangelicals for Social Action, Food for the Hungry, Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights, HOPE International, India Partners, Institute for Youth Development, National Association of Evangelicals, One Day's Wages, Operation Blessing International, Planet with Purpose, Reformed Church in America, Sojourners, World Concern and World Relief.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world's poor – regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.
World Vision, which responded to nearly 80 emergencies last year including the Haiti earthquake and Pakistan floods, witnesses the positive impact such international programs make on the lives of the world's most vulnerable people. World Vision's one million American donors, representing every state and congressional district, demonstrate that a broad base of U.S. voters and taxpayers prioritize development, feeding the hungry and protecting vulnerable lives.
About the ONE Campaign: ONE is a grassroots advocacy and campaigning organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, by raising public awareness and pressuring political leaders to support smart and effective policies and programs that are saving lives, helping to put kids in school and improving futures. Cofounded by Bono and other campaigners, ONE is nonpartisan and works closely with African activists and policy makers.