Religious Leaders Join Call to Preserve US Foreign Aid

Providing aid to the world’s hungry and poor is a moral issue, according to U.S. religious leaders who are lobbying lawmakers to preserve the country’s foreign assistance.

The Most Rev. Denis Madden, the Roman Catholic auxiliary bishop of Baltimore and vice chairman of Catholic Relief Services, and several of his peers took part in a closed-door conference hosted by Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.) on Nov. 3, according to The Washington Post. Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) also attended the meeting.

Madden said although it only makes up 0.6 percent of the federal budget, U.S. foreign aid feeds more than 46 million people and saves 3 million lives via immunizations annually.

“Part of the discussion centered on the importance of reminding the American people that hunger and poverty around the world has a human face — that we’re not just talking about statistics, but real people,” the Rev. John McCullough, director of Church World Service, told The Washington Post.

The Rev. David Beckmann, who leads Bread for the World, welcomed a recommendation by the Senate Appropriations Committee to maintain the funding level for overseas humanitarian programs, which a House proposal sought to reduce by 20 percent, equating to a loss of food rations for “14 million of the most desperate people in the world.”  

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    Eliza Villarino

    Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.