Letter to Congress on Global Food Security Act, June 28, 2018

Year Published
  • 2018
  • English

June 28, 2018

Honorable Paul Ryan
Speaker of the House of Representatives        
H‐232, The US Capitol                 
Washington, DC 20515                 

Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Minority Leader
H‐204, The US Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Ryan and Minority Leader Pelosi,

On behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), we want to share with you our support for the passage of S. 2269, the Global Food Security Act (GFSA).

On marking World Food Day in 2013, Pope Francis said that, "it is a scandal that there is still hunger and malnutrition in the world!  It is not just a question of responding to immediate emergencies, but of addressing together, at all levels, a problem that challenges our personal and social conscience in order to achieve a just and lasting solution."  We believe the GFSA can be a part of that just and lasting solution.

In 2016, under the leadership of Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Betty McCollum (D-MN), as well as Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY), the GFSA passed the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support and was subsequently signed into law. Since its passage, the GFSA has shepherded an updated, whole-of-government Global Food Security Strategy, which strengthened the accountability, implementation, and effectiveness of U.S. agriculture, nutrition, and resilience development assistance and established the Emergency Food Security Program.  Nongovernmental and civil society organizations, faith-based organizations, U.S. academic and research institutions, U.S. businesses, national governments, multilateral institutions, and U.S. farmers themselves have all recommitted to fighting extreme hunger and malnutrition.

The impact of programs carried out under the auspices of the GFSA are life changing.  For example, CRS is implementing a GFSA funded project in Nigeria, reaching 42,000 households in the Northwest of that country with improved varieties of seeds, new technologies that increase farmer productivity, vocational training, cash grants, and more.  This program benefited people like Kulu Asarara, a 47-year-old mother of eight, who could just harvest enough to feed her family two meals a day.  Through the program, Kulu secured a cash grant which she used to expand her farm and began a second business selling spices and herbs.  With new profits from her farm and spice business, Kulu's family now eats three meals a day, laying the foundation for better health and performance in school. 

With the programs and activities carried out under the GFSA, we have a chance to end global hunger and malnutrition soon.  We urge you to pass S. 2269 and thereby recommit the U.S. to helping people like Kulu build better lives for themselves and their children.  

Sincerely yours,
Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio
Archbishop for the Military Services
Chairman, Committee on International Justice and Peace, USCCB    

Sean L. Callahan
President and Chief Executive Office
Catholic Relief Services