(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.”
American Jewish World Service
Chief Executive Officer
Citizens for Global Solutions
Abdelbagi A. Jibril
Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre
Genocide Intervention Network/Save Darfur Coalition
Investors Against Genocide
Rabbi Steve Gutow
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Tzivia Schwartz Getzug
Jewish World Watch
Dr. David Emmanuel Goatley
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
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
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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