Media CenterIn Congressional testimony, CRS urges lawmakers to increase foreign aid budget, especially in the face of climate change

You are here


Nikki Gamer
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
(978) 884-0003


BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, April 17, 2023 – In written testimony submitted to the United States House subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) urged Congressional lawmakers to increase funding for international humanitarian aid and development assistance in the 2024 foreign aid appropriations, citing the devastating impacts of climate change on the world’s most vulnerable families.  

“We witness the devastation of drought and desertification, flooding and cyclones, and food insecurity and famine,” the testimony stated. “We urgently take up the Pope's call to combat climate change and ensure food security for all.”

CRS serves over 250 million people in more than 100 countries. According to CRS’ testimony, farmers around the world are seeing their livelihoods depleted by record temperatures, high variability of rainfall, and more frequent and intense weather events.

“Overwhelmingly, those most impacted are the world’s poorest and already most vulnerable communities, who have contributed the least to climate change,” the testimony stated.

CRS encouraged House lawmakers to appropriate funds to the Green Climate Fund while increasing funds for development programming that incorporates climate change adaptation activities. CRS also urged the subcommittee to allocate funding to the Adaptation Fund and the Least Developed Countries Fund, which help communities become more resilient. CRS cited data from its Central America programming that shows a dramatic return on investment for these types of activities.

“In the extreme drought of 2018, which left 1.4 million people in need of food assistance in Central America, farmers using [water smart agricultural practices] grew 41% more corn than those using traditional methods,” the testimony stated. “For every $1 invested in [water smart agriculture], farm income increased by $2.46 -- a 246% return on investment.”

In addition to calling for an increase of funding, CRS also calls for prioritization of localization.

“To care for our common home and battle inequality and food insecurity, not only what we do, but also how we do it is critical. International assistance must shift more funding directly to local entities and must empower local organizations to implement, evaluate, and own their own development,” the testimony stated.

To read CRS’ written testimony in its entirety, click here.



Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, visit or and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media in English at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; and in Spanish at: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Online Tools:

CRS Online Press Room:

Tags: Advocacy
Nikki Gamer

Senior Public Affairs Manager

Nikki Gamer
April 18, 2023

Based in Baltimore, MD

Nikki is the Senior Public Affairs Manager for CRS and connects journalists to regional stories and sources related to the agency’s life-saving development work. Previously, Nikki worked as the Communications Officer for the Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia. She has covered CRS’ response to the Syrian refugee crisis and the mass displacement...More