Statement By Rev. David Beckmann On Senate Passage Of $15.5 Billion Foreign Operations Bill

Bread for the World
Wednesday, 24 October 2001

WASHINGTON (Oct. 24) - The U.S. Senate today passed a $15.5 billion Foreign Operations Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2002. The bill includes a higher overall level of funding, as well as more for the anti-poverty Child Survival and Development Assistance programs, than its House counterpart. A House-Senate conference committee will meet to iron out the differences between the two bills. Below is a comment from Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, the Christian anti-hunger advocacy organization, on Senate passage of the bill and the need for House and Senate negotiators to agree on the higher levels of spending on development assistance.

"There is no doubt that global priorities have changed since last month's terrorist attacks, but the face of hunger has not. If anything, the number of hungry people in Africa and elsewhere is likely to increase dramatically. The conference committee should understand that the Senate bill's higher funding levels would better help millions of hungry people."

Members of BFW have generated more than 150,000 letters to members of Congress as part of its 2001 national grassroots campaign to increase poverty focused assistance to sub-Saharan Africa by $1 billion, including the debt relief package. The national anti-hunger organization has determined that for a U.S. commitment of $1 billion per year -- a penny a day per American -- world hunger could be cut in half by 2015.

The Senate bill's passage follows approval in July by the House of Representatives of a $15.2 billion foreign operations package.

For more information, or to contact Bread for the World, see their website at: www.bread.org

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