Target: Lindsey Graham, Chair, Senate Appropriations Committee
Goal: Ensure the United States continues supporting vital foreign aid programs such as UNICEF and the World Food Programme.
The Trump Administration has proposed substantial reductions in aid to organizations assisting millions around the world impacted by conflict and famine. A primary justification provided for these cuts is the need to balance a massive $54 billion increase to a defense budget which already totals over $500 billion annually. As total foreign aid accounts for only 1 percent of the federal budget, a significant reduction would do little to offset increases elsewhere, while reducing vital resources available to assist those most vulnerable at a time of great need.
Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing widespread famine with 22 million impacted individuals in South Sudan, Nigeria and Somalia alone. UNICEF estimates over 1 million children are at risk of death from malnutrition in 2017. An ongoing civil war in Syria has threatened food security for many and the World Food Programme provides assistance to over 4 million Syrians each month.
Over 65 million people have been displaced from their homes as a result of conflict and in desperate need of assistance. Historically the United States has made it a priority to accept those from war torn regions. This continued through the final year of the Obama administration, as over 85,000 refugees were admitted in 2016. The revised refugee ban put forward by President Trump would dramatically reduce those accepted, estimated by the Pew Research Center to fall from a projected 110,000 to under 50,000 in 2017.
The proposed cuts to foreign aid and the refugee ban together represent a cold-blooded betrayal of American values which will weaken our standing in the world. Please sign the below petition urging Congress not to approve a budget proposal which includes significant cuts to foreign aid.
Dear Senator Graham,
I am writing to demand that you reject the Trump Administration budget proposal containing steep cuts to foreign aid programs. Those resources are urgently needed as widespread famine has threatened food security for over 22 million individuals in Sub-Saharan Africa and 1 million children are currently at risk of death from malnutrition. A recipient of voluntary UN contributions from the United States, the World Food Programme, reaches over 500,000 people a month in South Sudan alone.
The proposed cuts to foreign aid and the refugee ban together represent a heartless betrayal of American values. Our continued standing as a world power depends on those in congressional leadership such as yourself pushing back against the Trump agenda.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Stephen H. Padre