Advocacy, Catholics Confront Global Poverty

Solidarity: Helping Those Most in Need

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) support foreign assistance based on our belief that each person is created in the image of God. Aid to poor people overseas protects human life and dignity by promoting human development and reducing crushing poverty, deadly diseases and malnutrition. We are called to be in solidarity with our sisters and brothers everywhere who are suffering and to do everything we can to assist them. 

In March, President Obama requested Congress act on a supplemental spending request that included funding to support relief and reconstruction efforts in Haiti and assistance for other global emergencies. Congress has not yet passed this bill and millions of people in Haiti and elsewhere in need of assistance are still waiting.

Funding for programs to assist displaced Haitians and the communities that are hosting them are urgently needed now. CRS and others are already engaged in such programs.  For example, CRS is holding seed fairs so that farmers can use vouchers to purchase items they need such as seeds, fertilizer and supplies. These seed fairs strengthen local markets and enable host families to better support the influx of displaced people.  More such agricultural activities are needed now to boost economic activity in the rural areas and support affected communities.   

Other global emergencies also require immediate attention now. Our brothers and sisters in El Salvador need our assistance to rebuild after a tropical storm; in Kenya and Pakistan people need food aid because of widespread hunger, in Sudan where civil war has devastated communities; and refugees worldwide who need shelter, food, and livelihoods.

The USCCB and CRS recently wrote to House and Senate appropriators asking that the United States strengthen its Haiti response while maintaining its ability to cover humanitarian needs in other parts of the world. Our position is informed by our relationships with the Catholic Church in developing nations and CRS’ on-the-ground relief and development work in one hundred countries.

Urge Congress to pass urgently needed assistance for Haiti and other global emergencies now! Our advocacy that can help provide additional funding to meet the needs of our brothers and sisters who are suffering is a significant act of solidarity.

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