Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

Tell Your Member of Congress to Help Cut Hunger and Poverty in Half


Photo: Elementary school children in India benefit from meals provided by the school. (Jim Stipe/Bread for the World)

By Robin Stephenson

Good news: According to a United Nations Food and Agriculture Agency (FAO) report released today, the number of hungry people around the world continues to fall.

Since the 1990s, global food insecurity has declined steadily and, as the FAO notes, the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of cutting hunger and poverty in half by 2015 is within reach, if adequate, appropriate action is taken.

The report, the State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012, is a joint publication of the FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Program (WFP).

The news underscores the importance of expanding the circle of protection and ensuring adequate funding of poverty-focused development assistance (PFDA).

Many Bread members will remember the 2008 Offering of Letters campaign, which asked for a strong Global Poverty Act that would commit the United States to the "hunger MDG." Efforts to build political will, support programs that fight systemic poverty, and provide a chance for people to thrive have been bolstered by a strong faith-based constituency calling for elected leaders to support policies that help poor and hungry people.

Despite the progress made, the report also reveals that nearly 870 million people around the world are chronically undernourished, and while that number continues to decline, the rate of decline has slowed.

“The number of hungry declined more sharply between 1990 and 2007 than previously believed,” the FAO says in the report. "Since 2007-2008, however, global progress in reducing hunger has slowed and leveled off."

Members of Congress, including the bipartisan Gang of Eight, are currently creating the framework for lame duck session budget negotiations. PFDA, which accounts for less than one percent of federal budget spending, is on the chopping block. Any cuts made to PFDA would result in lives lost and an increase in hunger and poverty around the world.

Bread members and activists can help keep Congress on track in moving toward meeting the MDG. Remind your congressional representatives of the importance of forming a circle of protection around PFDA. If you've already talked to your members of Congress, please don't be afraid to contact them again, and reiterate the importance of helping poor and hungry people both at home and abroad. 

Robin Stephenson is social media lead/senior regional organizer, western hub.


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