(Washington, DC) – A coalition of sixteen organizations today issued appeals calling on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NM) and Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner (R-OH) to restore appropriations for crucial humanitarian aid to vulnerable regions, particularly Darfur and Sudan.

The body text and signatories of the letters—sent to the Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House—appears below:

“As organizations that care about Darfur and all of Sudan, we write to express our disappointment over drastic funding cuts to the international affairs budget in House Bill 1. While we appreciate the need for fiscal responsibility, the severe cuts specifically targeted at humanitarian aid will be felt in lives lost in regions where civilian populations are the most vulnerable.

“We urge your support for restoring life-saving humanitarian aid. While we stress that humanitarian funding must be restored across the board, we are particularly concerned about aid related to Sudan. Cuts to specific accounts—like $431 million (50 percent) fromInternational Disaster Assistance, $582 million (36 percent) from Food for Peace, and $687 million (41 percent) from Migration and Refugee Assistance—will significantly impact lives on the ground in Darfur and all of Sudan. These reductions to critical accounts run counter to the United States’ commitment to peace in the region. These cuts put U.S. interests at risk during a critical time when violence in Darfur is on the rise and South Sudan stands ready to become the world’s newest independent country in less than five months.

“We strongly oppose reductions to funding that supports humanitarian assistance. As the appropriations process continues in both the House and Senate, we urge you to do everything in your power to restore humanitarian aid.”

Sincerely,

Ruth Messinger

President

American Jewish World Service

Don Kraus

Chief Executive Officer

Citizens for Global Solutions

Abdelbagi A. Jibril

Executive Director

Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre

John Bradshaw

Executive Director

Enough Project

Mark Hanis

President

Genocide Intervention Network/Save Darfur Coalition

Eric Cohen

Chairperson

Investors Against Genocide

Rabbi Steve Gutow

Executive Director

Jewish Council for Public Affairs

Tzivia Schwartz Getzug

Executive Director

Jewish World Watch

Dr. David Emmanuel Goatley

Executive Secretary-Treasurer

Lott Carey International

Hilary O. Shelton

Director, Washington Bureau and Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Policy

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

Sr. Dianna Ortiz, O.S.U.

D.C. Office Director

Pax Christi USA

Rabbi David Saperstein

Director and Counsel

Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Michael Pertnoy

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Righteous Pictures

Gabriel Stauring

Director

Stop Genocide Now

William F. Schulz

President and Chief Executive Officer

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

James E. Winkler

General Secretary, General Board of Church and Society

The United Methodist Church

Cc: Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

Cc: Senator Daniel Inouye, Appropriations Committee Chairman

Cc: Senator Thad Cochran, Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman

Cc: Senator Patrick Leahy, State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee Chair

Cc: Senator Lindsey Graham, State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee Ranking Member

Cc: Majority Leader Eric Cantor

Cc: Congressman Harold Rogers, Appropriations Committee Chair

Cc: Congressman Norm Dicks, Appropriations Committee Ranking Member

Cc: Congresswoman Kay Granger, State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee Chair

Cc: Congresswoman Nita Lowey, State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee Ranking Member

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