Interfaith Working Group for Foreign Assistance

Interfaith Working Group for Foreign Assistance

FY2014 Appropriations

 

 

We represent a range of religious and faith- based organizations, and urge your continued support for sustained international humanitarian and poverty-focused development assistance funding for fiscal year 2014.

 

·         For less than one penny of every one U.S. taxpayer dollar, this funding enables life-saving and life-enriching programs that can help break the cycles of poverty and introduce productive opportunities for individuals, families, and communities around the world.

 

·         Many of us undertake humanitarian work around the world, and have seen first-hand the devastating impact of poverty, disease, humanitarian disasters, violent conflict and environmental degradation.

 

·         Faith-based organizations’ deep, abiding relationships with sister organizations overseas enable us to implement our expert development assistance and humanitarian relief in some of the world’s most remote places.

 

·         These efforts and our advocacy are grounded in the common commitment of our faith traditions to alleviate suffering and help all people experience the fullness of life that God intends.  We believe that God has given our nation the necessary resources and the responsibility to support the alleviation and elimination of global poverty.

 

 

The Federal Budget expresses our character and values as a people.  We urge Congress to give priority to programs that protect life and dignity, especially for the most vulnerable and impoverished. 

 

·         Congress should replace the sequester, which makes indiscriminate cuts to programs that address hunger and help move people out of poverty.

 

·         Any efforts to address the deficit should protect poverty-focused accounts from disproportionate cuts that will undermine our values, jeopardize the lives of our brothers and sisters living in poverty around the world, and further destabilize fragile societies.

 

·         While we are very appreciative of  increases to some specific humanitarian and poverty-focused development assistance (PFDA) accounts in the President’s FY 2014 budget request-- including funding for development assistance, maternal and child health, McGovern-Dole, International Disaster Assistance, and Migration Refugee Assistance-- overall PFDA funding is almost $1 billion less than FY13 post-sequester levels.

 

For less than one penny on the dollar, international humanitarian and poverty-focused developmental assistance is a demonstration of U.S. moral leadership supporting the long-term investments that create economic opportunity for all, advance the goal of ending extreme poverty and enhance U.S. and global human security.

 

  • Many of these communities express their support for international assistance with their own pocketbooks through donations to their Church, or their church’s international development agency; and with their time by learning about and experiencing poverty overseas through relationships with other faith partners and mission trips.  

 

·         Public sector dollars are substantially leveraged by non-government revenue sources, including from the US faith community, which has faithfully supported humanitarian and development programs for decades. 

 

·         Faith-based organizations and churches are bringing resources and expertise to many communities, but to tackle the overwhelming challenges of poverty globally, the leadership of the US government is key to ensure that programs are coordinated and effective.