Protect Vulnerable People: Our brothers and sisters who have had to flee conflict in Syria and violence in Iraq now face harsh winter conditions. In Lebanon, Catholic Relief Services and our partner the Good Shepherd Sisters have been distributing shelter materials, food, blankets and heaters. In the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, thousands of people who fled the violence and threats by ISIS are also facing tough conditions without adequate shelter, supplies or even clothes. CRS and Caritas Iraq have worked in Erbil and Dohuk to provide safe shelter and other necessary supplies and services. Thanks to poverty-focused international assistance from the U.S. government, CRS and our partners are able to help those most in need.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and CRS support lifesaving programs funded by poverty-focused international development and humanitarian assistance. These programs address child survival and maternal health; HIV and AIDS; Ebola prevention and treatment; agriculture and food security; water and sanitation; health; peacekeeping; migration and refugee services; and infectious disease control. Contrary to popular misperceptions, poverty-focused development and humanitarian assistance represent just over 0.5% percent, or 0.6%, of the federal budget.
Promote Peace: The USCCB and CRS have long called for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that will build just and lasting peace for all people of the Holy Land. Last month Pope Francis expressed “a confident hope that negotiations between the two parties will once more resume, for the sake of ending violence and reaching a solution which can enable Palestinians and Israelis alike to live at last in peace within clearly established and internationally recognized borders, thus implementing the ‘two state solution.’” As people of faith, we believe that peace is possible. Now is the time for strong U.S. leadership to help promote a two-state solution.