U.S. International Assistance Reform and our Catholic Response

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What is the issue?

The United States' international assistance program today is based on overlapping objectives, encompasses no unifying strategy and is poorly coordinated. The poorest countries in the world receive as little as one fourth of U.S. international assistance. Many assistance programs are designed with little input from the people who are supposed to benefit from them.

At the same time, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has a long history of addressing global poverty and supporting U.S. international assistance. USCCB and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) urge the U.S. to make reforms to our nation's international assistance program and increase our commitment to poverty reduction by ensuring that sufficient resources are available to meet long-term development needs and address emerging and unanticipated humanitarian needs. USCCB and CRS also affirm strong support for restoring the Mexico City Policy against funding groups that perform or promote abortion. Read more ...

Latest Resources

Taking a Moral Stand on the U.S. Budget: Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to common questions about U.S. international assistance and the Church’s position (4 pages)

Taking a Moral Stand on the U.S. Budget: Overview
Background information on U.S. international assistance as it relates to Catholic social teaching and the Church’s advocacy efforts (3 pages)

Taking a Moral Stand on the U.S. Budget: Stories of U.S. international assistance’s impact on our brothers and sisters worldwide
Articles that can be used for bulletins and newsletters about people potentially affected by cuts to poverty-focused international assistance (6 pages)

Chart of the what CRS/USCCB have identified as “poverty-focused international assistance accounts”
An overview of the various poverty-focused international assistance accounts supported by CRS and USCCB (1 page)

International Assistance
International assistance helps people live lives worthy of their dignity as human beings, made in God’s image and likeness. Bill O’Keefe, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Catholic Relief Services, talks about how Catholics can work to improve and increase international assistance, so that children of God across the world can lift themselves out of poverty.
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