WHY THIS ISSUE IS IMPORTANT: Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed the FY 2006 supplemental appropriations bill. It primarily funds the war in Iraq and Afghanistan but also includes urgently needed funding for global food programs, assistance for the people of Sudan and Liberia as well as refugee assistance. As the Senate considers this bill, USCCB/CRS sent a letter in support of our priorities. For a copy, visit: http://www.crs.org/get_involved/Senate_Supplemental_Letter.pdf
TAKE ACTION NOW! Please contact your Senators today by visiting www.crs.org/actioncenter.cfm and urge them to retain funding for Sudan, food aid, and Liberia in the FY 2006 supplemental appropriations bill as passed by the House of Representatives. Encourage them to support more for emergency food aid, Haiti, and migration and refugee aid. Remind them that genuine reconstruction in Iraq will require the necessary financial support to help create decent levels of employment and economic opportunity.
BACKGROUND: In support of our mission to follow the Gospels call to alleviate human suffering and promote justice worldwide, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) joins the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in promoting the Catholic Campaign Against Global Poverty (www.usccb.org/globalpoverty). Our campaign is rooted in our Churchs teaching to uphold human dignity, which we believe should be reflected in U.S. programs that address the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable people around the world.
It is therefore essential that the Senate retain the following as passed by the House of Representatives in the FY 2006 supplemental appropriations bill:
- $514 million for refugee and humanitarian needs in Sudan and $50 million for peacekeeping.
- $350 million for Title II Food Aid.
- $50 million for assistance to Liberia.
- Ensuring that urgently needed aid reaches the Palestinian people, especially through NGOs, while requiring the Palestinian Authority to recognize Israel and renounce terrorism.
- $50 million to replenish the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust (BEHT), an emergency food reserve, to meet unanticipated emergency needs during the year. While much more food aid will be needed this year to address growing needs, the level constitutes a good first start.
- $50 million for assistance to Haiti.
- $66 million for Migration and Refugee Assistance. While we appreciate the House-passed $51.2 million, a minimum of $117.2 million will be needed for refugees in Africa and elsewhere.
- Targeting Iraq reconstruction funding to create employment and economic opportunities for Iraqis that will help save lives and make Iraq more secure and stable.
For more information, contact:
Tina Rodousakis, CRS Legislative Network Specialist, 1-800-235-2772 x 7462; firstname.lastname@example.org
Fr. Andrew Small, USCCB Policy Advisor, International Economic Development, (202) 541-3153; email@example.com