USCCB, CRS issue ‘action alert’ to preserve foreign aid for the poor

USCCB, CRS issue ‘action alert’ to preserve foreign aid for the poor

CWN – December 05, 2012

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services have issued an “action alert” urging Catholics to contact President Barack Obama and members of Congress in support of foreign aid to the poor.

“While our nation’s fiscal challenges are significant, poverty-focused international assistance makes up less than 1% of the U.S. federal budget,” according to the action alert. “This little bit of funding saves millions of lives around the world. Cutting this assistance will not balance the federal budget, but it will cost lives.”

“I urge you to work with your colleagues in a bipartisan way to consider everything to resolve our fiscal crisis including increased revenue, fair and just entitlement reform, as well as cuts in unnecessary military and other spending,” the alert continues. “I urge you to protect poverty-focused international relief and development assistance in FY 2013 appropriations and fiscal cliff negotiations.”

“Moreover, I ask you to avoid sequestration,” the alert continues. “Sequestration of international poverty-focused relief and development accounts would cost lives overseas. For example, as many as 276,000 people would not have access to HIV treatments, 640,000 people do not have access to near-by testing centers and missing symptoms in women with chlamydia include burning, itching, and discharge, while 3.3 million people will have reduced access to life-saving food aid. Real gains in development would be reversed; as many as 656,000 fewer children would have access to a quality primary education annually.”

“Thank you for your consideration of this urgent life and death issue.”