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Bread for the World Urges House Committee to Support U.S. Global Hunger Initiative
Date:10/29/2009

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Bread for the World President Rev. David Beckmann today urged members of the House Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health to make ending hunger, child and maternal health, and a reformed U.S. foreign aid system with an empowered, distinct development voice their top priorities.

Beckmann, co-chair of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN), testified this morning during a hearing in Congress. He said that over the past two years, there has been a dramatic increase in hunger as food and fuel prices rose and the global recession pushed millions of people into extreme poverty. "I am heartened that the Obama administration recognizes that in addition to addressing emergency needs, we must also focus on creating long-term sustainable solutions to ending hunger and poverty," he said.

Beckmann expressed his strong support for the U.S. Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative, calling it "a tremendous first step toward a global initiative that rallies the support of governments and people around the world." He praised the principles of the initiative, which form a blueprint for broader reform of U.S. foreign assistance. The principles include country-led plans, enhanced strategic coordination, and transparent and accountable evaluation systems.

Beckmann also praised the inclusion of improving maternal and child nutrition in the administration's plan. "The long-term damage inflicted by undernutrition on young children is a moral outrage," he said. "Focusing our agriculture and food security investments on improving the nutrition of women and children will shape better, more targeted programs that have a lasting development impact."

Beckmann stressed that the primary measures of success of the initiative must be reductions in poverty and in maternal and child undernutrition.

While commending the administration's leadership on global food security and global health, Beckmann emphasized the importance of broader foreign assistance reform to ensure that these initiatives have a lasting impact for poor people.

"A substantial majority of U.S. voters favor spending more on effective programs to reduce hunger, poverty and disease in developing countries. It's the right thing to do and the smart thing to do," Beckmann said. "If this administration and Congress manage to improve the effectiveness of our outdated U.S. foreign assistance system, our dollars will do more good for decades to come."

Bread for the World (www.bread.org) is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.

SOURCE Bread for the World


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SOURCE Bread for the World
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