Tell Congress:  Don’t abandon the children!
Support robust foreign assistance to our most impoverished and vulnerable neighbors in 2012 and beyond

Three children


Contact your Senators and Representative urging them to support robust assistance for our most impoverished and vulnerable neighbors around the world.

Tell them that help for families and communities struggling to overcome poverty and recover from man-made and natural disasters is the right thing to do and is vital to U.S. interests in global human security.
 

Background:

This fall there are two critical moments in which members of Congress will make momentous decisions that will have an impact on vulnerable children and families around the world for years to come.

The first decision will occur in late October or possibly early November on funding for foreign aid spending in FY 2012.   Both the Senate and the House of Representatives are set to make cuts to humanitarian and poverty-focused foreign aid. But the House’s proposed cuts are much deeper and could be devastating for hungry families, refugees, and victims of disasters in impoverished places around the world.

The second – and even more crucial – decision will be made by the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, often referred to as the “super committee.”  This committee is charged with reducing the U.S. federal budget deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years.

Although foreign assistance is only 1 percent of the budget, it is an easy target.  Further reductions will not help balance the budget, but will severe vital lifelines to vulnerable children, women and men, and will undermine global human security.

As Rev. John L. McCullough, CWS Executive Director and CEO, recently wrote in a letter to members of the Congressional super committee, “Further cuts to humanitarian foreign assistance will result in countless additional people going hungry and many more children losing their lives to preventable and treatable diseases....  Preserving robust, well-targeted foreign assistance will save millions of lives, build self-reliance among the world’s most vulnerable, and help protect our own national security in the process."

Biblical reflection

Jesus tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves.  And when asked “Who is my neighbor,” he told a story that emphatically included the “foreigner” in that circle of neighborly love.

People are struggling in the United States, and maintaining vital programs to assist them must be a priority.  But aiding our global neighbors in need is also a priority, and costs so very little in relative terms.

God repeatedly urged Israel, despite its own massive economic setbacks, to give to the poor and help others, saying "Do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor.  You shall rather open your hand...“ (Deut. 15:7-8).  In the Book of Proverbs we read that “When you give to the poor, it is like lending to the Lord, and the Lord will pay you back” (19:17 Good News Version).

We do well when we recognize our neighbors close at hand and our neighbors far away.  Our own security is bound up with the security of our global neighbor in need in both spiritual and practical ways.

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