Media CenterCRS Calls on Congress to Pass Higher Supplemental Funding for Global Food Aid, COVID-19 Support

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Brittany Wichtendahl
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, April 29, 2022 – Bill O’Keefe, executive vice president for Mission, Mobilization and Advocacy for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) released the following statement in response to the Biden administration’s supplemental funding request for Ukraine:

“While Catholic Relief Services is appreciative of the administration’s support for the Ukrainian people as they live through the realities of war, we are concerned that the supplemental funding proposed by the administration yesterday is insufficient for addressing the direct and spillover impacts of the conflict, in addition to other global humanitarian needs.

We urge Congress to provide $5 billion in humanitarian assistance and $5 billion for the international COVID-19 response. Without this immediate support, people everywhere – including within Ukraine – will continue to struggle in keeping their families safe, fed and together.

From increasing transportation costs due to oil price spikes, to severe price inflation of staple crops like wheat and vegetable oil, the war between Ukraine and Russia is affecting countries in all corners of the world. Already, the United Nations World Food Program is projecting that an additional 47 million people will need emergency food aid by the end of this year. Without action, we fear that this number, along with global fragility and economic strife, will increase.

As an international leader, the U.S. must break the cycle of panic followed by neglect that we so often see after the initial onset of an emergency. While the war in Ukraine demands our attention, we must not forget the multiple looming hunger crises in places like Yemen, Afghanistan and in the Horn of Africa, and that COVID-19 continues to infect and take the lives of thousands of people each day. We must continue to share COVID-19 vaccines, support countries still struggling to protect their citizens from this deadly virus and work together to restore the global economy.

The immense support that we have seen for the Ukrainian people has been heartwarming and inspirational, but we must not let the needs of millions of innocent people drift from the spotlight. Together we can continue to support our sisters and brothers around the world and let them know that the American people have not, and will not, forget them.”


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.


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Public Relations Strategist

Brittany Wichtendahl
April 29, 2022

Brittany Wichtendahl is a public relations strategist for Catholic Relief Services, out of Baltimore. Drafting press releases for secular and Catholic news media, Brittany also crafts pitches to help publicize CRS's work. She writes op-eds for placement in national print publications, and monitors news outlets for stories related to CRS and CRS programming.

Brittany is a graduate...More