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Foreign Assistance Is ‘Smart,’ ‘Right Thing To Do’

“We are living through the greatest improvements in child survival and health in human history, and it is thanks in large part to U.S. poverty-focused development assistance, aka ‘foreign aid,'” Rev. John McCullough, president and CEO of Church World Service, and Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, write in a letter to Congress published in The Hill’s “Congress Blog.” They add, “It’s time members of Congress take credit for their support of this unprecedented life-saving success.” They continue, “Our government works with other countries, unilateral organizations, non-governmental organizations and faith-based organizations,” adding, “But the U.S. government’s indispensable funding, influence and leadership launches global initiatives, strengthens local capacity, and coordinates humanitarian strategies across national boundaries.”

“Harmful is the falsehood that poverty-focused foreign assistance is wasted. Improved agriculture, safe water, access to sanitation, primary education, vaccinations, better harvests, and economic growth in of some the world’s most impoverished communities is not wasted aid,” McCullough and Beckmann state. “As you consider the unusual threats to foreign aid funding currently underway in the House of Representatives, we ask each one of you to consider this: 18,000 children still die every day, mostly from preventable disease,” they write, adding, “Don’t stop momentum and roll back historic progress. We will stand with you, as do millions of our members — your constituents.” They conclude, “Our deep appreciation goes to those bipartisan supporters in Congress who have long understood this type of foreign assistance is both a smart thing and the right thing to do” (12/11).