Media CenterCRS Issues Statement in Response to $500 Million Diversion of Foreign Aid

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Tom Zolper
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
(410) 951-7110

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 18, 2019 – Catholic Relief Services (CRS) opposes the administration’s decision yesterday to reallocate or suspend a total of over $500 million in foreign aid to Central American countries. The decision was made public in press accounts.

“Targeted U.S. assistance has helped the poor and vulnerable to survive and even prosper under extraordinarily difficult conditions in Central America,” said Bill O’Keefe, CRS executive vice president for Mission and Mobilization. “Diverting these funds will harm families, exacerbate migration to the border and undermine the long-term policy goals of the United States.”

Foreign aid programs implemented by non-profit and faith-based groups such as CRS have reduced poverty and food insecurity and helped address the underlying causes of violence and migration.

“Many of our brothers and sisters in Central America are hungry and scared. They are vulnerable to violence and extortion, and have lost crops from drought,” O’Keefe said. “U.S. foreign aid is making a difference in easing this suffering. We must continue to ensure all families and communities can reach their fullest potential.”


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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Communications Writer

Tom Zolper
June 18, 2019

Tom Zolper is the communications writer for Catholic Relief Services, based out Baltimore. Tom writes and edits stories and works with media outlets to place stories that help tell of CRS' work. He works closely with the CRS advocacy team, assisting them in advocating through the media.

Tom has a deep background in journalism and communications, including work as a newspaper...More