FOLLOW US  Click to go to Facebook.  Click to go to Twitter.  Click to go to YouTube.   TEXT SIZE Click to make text small. Click for medium-sized text. Click to make text large.  
 

Letter to Congress on Additional Humanitarian Assistance

 

Printable Version

November 28, 2016

The Honorable Lindsey Graham                        
Chair                                
Senate Appropriations
Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
290 Russell Senate Office Building                
Washington, DC 20510
                     
The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy                    
Ranking Member                            
Senate Appropriations                         
Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs                
437 Russell Senate Building                    
Washington, DC 20510                        

The Honorable Kay Granger
Chair
House Appropriations
Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
1026 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Nita Lowey
Ranking Member
House Appropriations
Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
2365 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Graham, Ranking Member Leahy, Chairman Granger and Ranking Member Lowey:

With deep appreciation for the United States Congress' steadfast commitments to humanitarian and development needs around the globe, we write to strongly urge you to incorporate the Administration's amendment request for humanitarian relief and recovery activities in your final appropriations for Fiscal Year 2017.  While we are immensely grateful for the proposed funding to key humanitarian accounts in your bills – $3.2 billion for Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA), $2.8 billion for International Disaster Assistance (IDA), $1.6 billion for Food for Peace (FFP), and $60 million for Emergency Refugee and Migrant Assistance (ERMA) – we strongly urge you to appropriate new Overseas Contingency Operations funds in addition to these amounts to address unmet humanitarian needs.

The Committees on International Justice and Peace and Migration of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) believe that as the world's wealthiest nation, we have an obligation to help the innocent who fall victim to war, to protect the marginalized, and to lift people out of poverty.  In 2015 alone, CRS served more than 100 million people in more than 100 countries.  For decades, CRS has leveraged donations from U.S. Catholics raised through programs like CRS Ricebowl with public money to maximize the impact of programs overseas.  We also partner with local Catholic organizations and others on the ground who have the trust of local populations to maximize the impact of assistance.

We urge you to respond generously to the Administration's request of November 11 for additional humanitarian and recovery assistance.  In partnership with Caritas Iraq and others, CRS continues to help the more than 80,000 people affected by the liberation of Fallujah and others displaced from Hawija.  But existing funding is insufficient.  More than 50,000 people have already fled Mosul, joining the approximately 3.3 million Iraqis who have been internally displaced since ISIS began occupying parts of Iraq in 2014.  As we have already learned in Iraq, individuals, communities, and countries divided by war face significant challenges amidst their suffering. They must rebuild their communities, and establish inclusive governance that protects majorities and minorities.  We must provide them with humanitarian help and durable solutions to their plight because it's the right thing to do, and because their security and prosperity is critical to the stability of the entire region.

The needs in Iraq are in addition to increased suffering elsewhere in the world since the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs appropriations bills were passed: the Southern African drought, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Lake Chad Basin, to name a few.

This new Overseas Contingency Operations funding will help to protect programs responding to crises like these that don't make the headlines.  At USCCB and CRS, we know through our own emergency appeals that when Americans are asked to help, they respond generously.  

Sincerely yours,
             
Most Rev. Oscar Cantú         
Bishop of Las Cruces        
Chairman, Committee on International Justice and Peace

Most Rev. Joe S. Vasquez
Bishop of Austin
Chairman, Committee on Migration

Dr. Carolyn Woo
President/CEO
Catholic Relief Services



By accepting this message, you will be leaving the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This link is provided solely for the user's convenience. By providing this link, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops assumes no responsibility for, nor does it necessarily endorse, the website, its content, or sponsoring organizations.

cancel  continue