USCCB-CRS Letter to Secretary of State Pompeo on Rescission of International Assistance Funds, August 15, 2019
August 15, 2019
The Honorable Mike Pompeo
Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520
Dear Mr. Secretary:
On behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), we urge you not to rescind international assistance funds intended to support U.S. diplomatic and development efforts. These funds, appropriated by Congress and signed into law by the President were allocated to support vulnerable communities, respond to global health challenges, address root causes of forced migration, and advance international religious freedom, global security, and peacekeeping. Rescinding up to $4 billion in foreign aid funds will undermine the United States’ ability to support global stability and jeopardize the country’s role as a moral leader. We urge you to intervene within the Administration in support of this critical funding.
Local Churches and Catholic Relief Services partner with the U.S. government to reduce poverty, alleviate suffering, and cultivate just and peaceful societies around the world. Our programs and partners reduce child malnutrition, empower farmers to become resilient in the face of climate shocks, and offer alternatives for at-risk youth to achieve their fullest potential. Retreating from development assistance in regions such as Central America will impede human development successes and create a vacuum for increased poverty, instability, and migration. Abandoning commitments to peacekeeping in Africa will allow conflict to fester and marginalized communities to suffer more. The crises today are dire. U.S. moral and financial leadership is necessary.
Therefore, we entreat you to press the Administration to allow the Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development to obligate and program international poverty-reducing and peacekeeping funds Congress has passed and the President has signed into law. Thank you for considering this request. We look forward to continued partnership in our collective effort to build a more just and peaceful world.
Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio
Archbishop for the Military Services, USA
Chair, Committee on International Justice and Peace
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Most Reverend Gregory J. Mansour
Bishop of the Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn
Chairman, Board of Directors
Catholic Relief Services