Four Famines, 65 Million Displaced People, and One Indispensable Budget

Four Famines, 65 Million Displaced People, and One Indispensable Budget

4/21/17

We’ve been talking a lot lately about four famines threatening to starve 20 million people in four different countries - Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria. 1.4 million children are at immediate risk of death if we don’t do something now.  It’s a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented magnitude that’s happening on our watch. At the same time, 65 million people have been forced to flee their homes and are in desperate need of emergency and humanitarian assistance, as the droughts and conflicts that drove them from their homes appear to have no end in sight. With this many emergencies happening simultaneously, it’s challenging to know where to channel our advocacy efforts first, except that one burning issue fuels and underscores all the rest – The Budget.

If President Trump’s federal budget proposal were approved, programs that specifically address and prevent catastrophes like the ones mentioned above will be gutted.  That means famines will grow, more people will starve, more suffering and chaos will ensue and millions of hungry, desperate people will be forced to extremes to prevent their children from dying.

America has always been the country that has stepped in to provide lifesaving assistance in times of major crisis.  We provide food to the hungry, set up emergency services and help desperate communities dig out and rebuild stronger.  We’ve come to the rescue of the global community for decades and made huge progress on some of humanity’s most daunting challenges: poverty, disease, injustice and oppression.  Helping people in need to access resources for survival and develop self-reliance is a powerful way to create stability.  If that budget goes through, we sign away our best global peacekeeping measures.  We abandon and alienate the very people we should be supporting and defending.

History shows that when the U.S. responds to global emergencies, other countries follow. We’re leaders. We’re humanitarians. That’s who America is.  We cannot step down from that leadership position at this unprecedented moment in history. Right now, that leadership needs to be immediate, resourceful and specific. The United Nations needs $4.4 billion by the end of April to provide the emergency lifesaving aid needed to specifically address famines and avert catastrophe.  Yet to date, only $90 million has been received. In addition to this kind of emergency response, the U.S. should be making critical long-term development investments and ramping up diplomatic efforts to respond to humanitarian needs of this unprecedented scale, not decreasing them.

As budget discussions continue, CARE calls on Congress to protect this valuable funding and oppose proposed cuts.  As Vice President Joe Biden said, “Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget and I’ll tell you what you value.”  CARE challenges Congress to show us a budget that truly represents the values of the American people.

Will you join us? Sign our petition and share it on Facebook and Twitter. Your voice matters now more than ever. 

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