We are so very pleased to report an important victory in protecting the lives and dignity of our brothers and sisters around the world.
Congress finally passed, and the President signed into law, the final spending bill for the fiscal year 2012 that includes funding for poverty-focused international assistance. In an extraordinary turn-about, funding levels for these lifesaving and life-changing accounts increased by nearly 3% over fiscal year 2011 levels. You did it! Your advocacy, along with efforts from many Catholics and others across the United States, helped restore some of the deep cuts made to poverty-focused international humanitarian and development assistance last year.
This outcome means that our nation will continue to do its part to feed the hungry, vaccinate children from deadly diseases, shelter refugees fleeing conflict, and provide clean water to impoverished communities around the world. This is a significant accomplishment in such a difficult economic environment. Read more about the impact of this development in the Catholic Relief Services press release.
There is some bad news, though. The Emergency Migration and Refugee Assistance and Debt Restructuring accounts unfortunately suffered significant cuts this year. And we expect these budget battles to continue next year, with more at stake and more serious cuts to poverty-focused international assistance looming. Your voice will be needed more than ever before to keep the momentum going!
Thanks to the time you took to raise your voice with your elected officials, children and families across the globe will enjoy special gifts this Christmas: desperately needed assistance amidst difficult challenges in their lives.
May this news bring the peace of Christ to you and yours this Christmas,
Your Catholics Confront Global Poverty Team