Media CenterAs Global COVID-19 Deaths Reach 1 Million, CRS Calls for More Emergency Funding

Photo by Justin Makangara for CRS

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Brittany Wichtendahl
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
(757) 748-5003


BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, Sept. 28, 2020 – As the world surpasses the 1 million mark of COVID-19 deaths, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) President & CEO Sean Callahan issues the following statement:

“CRS stands in solidarity with those battling COVID-19, the first responders and essential workers, and with those who’ve lost loved ones to the virus. As we see at home and abroad, those who are most vulnerable to the virus are most often the ones without the means to protect themselves from it. In especially fragile communities, the option of a ventilator, a hospital bed, a doctor, and even clean water is merely a dream. The secondary impacts of COVID-19 lockdowns are equally concerning. We’ve seen a drastic spike in food insecurity in all of the regions where we operate, with tens of millions of families questioning where they’ll find their next meal.

Historically, the United States has been a global leader in the humanitarian and development field, and that must continue during this fraught time. We are urging Congress and the administration to pass a COVID-19 emergency funding bill that adequately addresses the growing humanitarian needs here and abroad. The longer it takes for them to do so, the longer people will needlessly suffer.

While we’ve made great strides in mitigating the spread of this virus in certain parts of the world, we need to do more to protect the most vulnerable. This is not a virus from one country or about one people. It's a virus that affects all of us, and we all need to work together to overcome it.”

CRS and our partners continue to support the most vulnerable communities in the more than 100 countries where we work to promote COVID‑19 prevention and awareness; hygiene;  strengthened health systems; food security; and livelihoods. For more information about CRS’ COVID-19 response, 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.


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Public Relations Strategist

Brittany Wichtendahl &
Nikki Gamer
September 28, 2020

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 of...More