September 30, 2004
The Honorable Colin L. Powell
Secretary of State
United States Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520
Dear Mr. Secretary:
The Administration has demonstrated a sustained commitment to help end the war in Sudan so that the Sudanese might rebuild their shattered lives and wounded communities. Despite your efforts, and the efforts of Ambassador Danforth, the Government in Khartoum and its armed militias continue to perpetrate heinous crimes, crimes you have determined to be acts of genocide.
As the humanitarian situation in Darfur continues to deteriorate, we respectfully suggest that there are additional steps the Administration could take to help to bring an end to the violence and promote conditions for a peaceful resolution of this conflict. Accordingly, we urge the Administration to support, in the House and Senate Conference on the FY 2005 Foreign Operations Appropriations legislation, the $225 million in emergency funding the Senate approved to address urgent humanitarian and security needs in the Darfur region. This level of funding would be consistent with the White Houses Statement on Administration Policy.
In addition, we recommend that the Administration submit a budget request should Congress designate these funds a contingent emergency. Additional funding is desperately needed to help victims of the terrible atrocities in Darfur. While we applaud your budget request for Sudan, we recognize that it was submitted to Congress nearly nine months ago, and the situation in the region has changed dramatically since that time. The funds approved by the Senate will help alleviate suffering in Sudan while preventing a situation where scarce resources are diverted from other critical development programs for other parts of Africa.
Thank you for the leadership you have demonstrated in helping to promote a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Darfur.
Most Reverend John H. Ricard, SSJ
Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee
Chairman, Committee on International Policy
Mr. Ken Hackett
President and CEO,
Catholic Relief Services