derbydinner.com, nett.com.au #clomid, clomiphene without prescription, cheap #skdfhfycf, buy terbinafine, cost of #AsLarAs, generic #KjhdyHf, nexium online #nett.com.au, generic #rsJsere without prescription, youthnet.org, youthnet.org#topamax, buy #wllmvpj online

US Catholic Bishops and CRS Urge Congress to Keep Poorest in Mind in Reducing Deficit and Debt

July 5, 2011 by

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
John Rivera
Catholic Relief Services
(410) 951-7399
john.rivera@crs.org

BALTIMORE, Md., July 6, 2011–Morally appropriate efforts must be made to reduce the nation’s deficit and debt but special care must be taken that the cuts don’t disproportionally affect the world’s poorest people, said Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace, and Ken Hackett, president of Catholic Relief Services, in a July 5 letter to the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs as it prepares to mark up the Foreign Operations Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2012.

In the letter, Bishop Hubbard and Mr. Hackett note that the enacted FY 2011 Foreign Affairs budget already cut these life-saving programs by an average of 8.4% from FY 2010 and affirm that “further cuts would be disproportionate and life-threatening to the world’s poorest people.”

At stake are a wide range of life-saving and dignity preserving activities such as agricultural assistance to poor farmers; medicines for people living with HIV/AIDS and vaccines for preventable diseases; assistance to orphans and vulnerable children; humanitarian assistance in cases of famine; emergency health care, shelter, and reconstruction in disaster-devastated places like Haiti; peacekeepers to protect innocent civilians in troubled nations such as Sudan and the Congo; and life-sustaining support to migrants and refugees fleeing conflict or persecution in nations like Iraq.

“In supporting these life-saving services, we seek to promote integral human development, reduce poverty, and improve stability in the world’s poorest countries and communities in morally appropriate ways,” the letter says. “Doing so contributes to our long-term security, since poverty and hopelessness can provide a fertile ground for the growth of terrorism.”

“The Subcommittee must cut with great care, eliminating only those expenses unrelated to basic human needs and development,” the letter says, pointing out that middle or high income countries are better able to cope with the consequences of reduced funding.

In the letter USCCB and CRS also affirm strong support for restoring the Mexico City Policy against funding groups that perform or promote abortion, and denying funding to the U.N. Population Fund which supports a program of coerced abortion and involuntary sterilization in China.

“The USCCB, CRS, and many others in the faith community committed to a Circle of Protection (www.circleofprotection.us) stand ready to work with leaders of both parties for a budget that reduces future deficits, protects poor and vulnerable people at home and abroad, advances the common good, and promotes human life and dignity,” Bishop Hubbard and Hackett say in the letter.

Full text of the letter follows. Referenced materials (table and testimony) provided upon request.

July 5, 2011

Honorable Representative Kay Granger

Chairwoman

Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs

Appropriations Committee

House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

Honorable Representative Nita M. Lowey

Ranking Member

Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs

Appropriations Committee

House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairwoman Granger and Ranking Member Lowey:

As you prepare to mark up the FY 2012 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) wish to share with you our funding priorities for poverty-focused humanitarian and development assistance. In supporting these life-saving services, we seek to promote integral human development, reduce poverty, and improve stability in the world’s poorest countries and communities in morally appropriate ways. Doing so contributes to our long-term security, since poverty and hopelessness can provide a fertile ground for the growth of terrorism.

We acknowledge the difficult challenges that Congress faces to get the nation’s financial house in order: fulfilling the demands of justice and obligations to future generations; controlling future debt and deficits; and protecting the life and dignity of those who are poor and vulnerable.

However, the United States has a moral imperative to maintain its commitment to assist the poorest people in the poorest places on earth as they face the global impacts of the economic downturn, climate change, and food crisis.

Based on our overseas experience and relationships, the USCCB and CRS have identified critical poverty-focused development and humanitarian accounts that warrant robust funding (please see the attached table). We have also attached testimony submitted to the subcommittee earlier this year that provides more details on the priority programs we support. The enacted FY 2011 Foreign Affairs budget cut these life-saving programs by an average of 8.4% from FY 2010; further cuts would be disproportionate and life-threatening to the world’s poorest people.

At stake are a wide range of life-saving and dignity-preserving activities including the following: agricultural assistance to poor farmers; medicines for people living with HIV/AIDS and vaccines for preventable diseases; assistance to orphans and vulnerable children; humanitarian assistance in cases of famine; emergency health care, shelter, and reconstruction in disaster-devastated places like Haiti; peacekeepers to protect innocent civilians in troubled nations such as Sudan and the Congo; and life-sustaining support to migrants and refugees fleeing conflict or persecution in nations like Iraq.

We welcome appropriate efforts to reduce our nation’s deficit and debt, but we urge the Subcommittee to work with other members of Congress to be fiscally responsible in morally appropriate ways. First, insist on balanced contributions across the entire federal budget, including defense, revenue, agricultural subsidies, and fair and just entitlement reform. Second, give priority to those who are poor and vulnerable at home and abroad. Preserve life-saving services to the poor; if necessary, target other foreign affairs accounts not listed on the attached table.

The Subcommittee must cut with great care, eliminating only those expenses unrelated to basic human needs and development—for example, in middle or high income countries that are better able to cope with the consequences. Even within accounts not on the attached list, however, we urge that the needs of the poor be given priority. For example, in the Economic Support Fund, assistance for Sudan and Haiti and other poverty-focused programs must be retained. Of course, as with all accounts, we should subject poverty-focused services to careful scrutiny so as to eliminate waste and duplication.

As you consider appropriations language, we strongly support restoring the Mexico City Policy against funding groups that perform or promote abortion, and denying funding to the U.N. Population Fund which supports a program of coerced abortion and involuntary sterilization in China. It is also important to preserve the Helms Amendment, prohibiting U.S. funding for abortion, and the Kemp-Kasten provision, prohibiting support of organizations involved in programs of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.

The USCCB, CRS, and many others in the faith community committed to a Circle of Protection (www.circleofprotection.us) stand ready to work with leaders of both parties for a budget that reduces future deficits, protects poor and vulnerable people at home and abroad, advances the common good, and promotes human life and dignity.

Sincerely yours,

Most Reverend Howard J. Hubbard

Bishop of Albany

Chairman, Committee on International Justice and Peace

Mr. Ken Hackett

President

Catholic Relief Services

Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency provides assistance to people in nearly 100 countries and territories based on need, regardless of race, nationality or creed. For more information, please visit www.crs.org or www.crsespanol.org.

Comments are closed.