Urgent: Harness your right to speak up for the world’s poor

Congressional Budget Action Alert
Public Policy & Advocacy Team

Action Alert Content:

Antonio, a farmer from northern Mozambique, has increased his income and livelihood through participation in FH food security programs. He has been able to grow peanuts, maize, rice, cow peas and sesame. Despite erratic rains that seriously impacted other farmers, Antonio sold some of his crop and purchased $70 worth of clothing for his family in addition to saving $25 through the FH-assisted community savings group. Antonio hopes to use his savings to invest in items, such as iron sheets for the roof of his house, to help better protect his family during the rainy season.

Antonio is one of thousands of farmers who reap a harvest and savings due to FH food aid programs throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America. Such programs are currently being put at risk. Congress is debating a budget that would cut US food aid to developing countries by 42%, negatively impacting life-saving programs that helps poor communities around the world. Call your Congressperson and urge them to protect programs for food security. It is essential that Congress knows what an integral part food security plays into the health of poor communities.

Click here to contact your Representative and Senator

The House of Representatives has already passed the proposed cuts in H.R.1, and now the Senate will debate the budget in the coming weeks. We all know times are tough in America.  There is a growing desire to cut budgets and many have argued that we should start with international assistance.

Call your Congressperson now and tell them that you support smart deficit reduction, but NOT harmful cuts to international assistance. Tell them these cuts would be short sighted, would hurt millions of farmers like Antonio struggling to feed their families.

Consider this:
“Reducing the deficit is urgently important, but it must be done in a fair and balanced way and without undermining American leadership and long-term interests. With one in six people facing a nutritional crisis, we can hardly justify retreating from food assistance programs that benefit nearly  50 million people every year; leverage partnerships with thousands of communities and organizations in low-income countries; and provide jobs and economic benefits at home — all for just 3 percent of U.S. international relations funds.” — Ellen Levinson, Why Take Such a Big Bite From U.S. International Food Aid?

The Facts:

  • More than ever, we need to continue investing in life saving programs to help lift people out of poverty. According to the World Bank, high food prices will push 44 million people in extreme poverty — the highest levels since the 2007-2008 food crisis, which triggered protests in 33 developing countries.
  • The Bank further predicted that the number of undernourished people will hit 1 billion before the end of the year, the majority of which are women and children.
  • The H.R. 1 proposed budget would cut key programs that fight AIDS, malaria and hunger were cut by 42%. Programs that promote long-term economic growth were slashed up to 30%.
  • Foreign assistance programs actually make up less than one percent of the federal budget.
  • The H.R. 1 proposed cuts would deny aid to 18 million people and would curtail efforts to reduce the burden of destabilizing food shortages on poor and vulnerable populations.

References:

  • Women Thrive Worldwide, action alert
  • Ellen Levinson, Why Take Such a Big Bite From U.S. International Food Aid?

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