Media CenterCRS Responds to COVID-19 Stimulus Package with Request for More International Funding

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


BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, Dec. 11, 2020 –  Bill O’Keefe, executive vice president for Mission, Mobilization and Advocacy at Catholic Relief Services (CRS), issued the following statement in response to Congressional passage of the COVID-19 stimulus package and FY21 appropriations:

“By passing the latest COVID-19 stimulus package, Congress rightfully recognizes the mounting needs of the millions of struggling Americans whose livelihoods have been upended by the pandemic. As needs also grow abroad, we are grateful the stimulus package includes an investment in GAVI -- the global vaccine alliance. Additionally, we appreciate that Congress has maintained a strong investment in poverty-reducing foreign aid funding in its annual appropriations package. Yet much more must be done to protect the world’s most vulnerable families from the secondary impacts of COVID-19, such as worsening hunger and malnutrition. It’s estimated that the pandemic could push more than half a billion people into poverty and double the number of people suffering from food insecurity. Many of these families have little-to-no safety net.

Given the urgency of this crisis, we look forward to working with Congress and the administration in the new year to provide at least $20 billion in funding to address the impacts of COVID-19 overseas. Doing so will better protect vulnerable communities in the short term, speed an eventual end to the pandemic, and support a more sustainable recovery. We can’t end this pandemic anywhere, if we don’t end it everywhere.”


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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Nikki Gamer

Senior Public Affairs Manager

Nikki Gamer
December 23, 2020

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