Bread for the World says the sequestration cuts will have a devastating impact on the fight against hunger worldwide. The advocacy group says "2.1 million people will experience reductions of or be denied access to lifesaving food aid."
Catholic Relief Services says, "A number of Food for Peace funded programs could be delayed or canceled, which could deprive millions of people who don’t have enough to eat of the help they need to survive."
These cuts, should the sequester continue, will come when America's food aid is desperately needed with wars in Syria, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Mali and other countries. There is widespread hunger and displacement in these nations. The World Food Programme, UNICEF and other aid groups are dramatically short on funding to meet these emergencies.
In addition, the sequester cuts will mean, "605,625 fewer children will receive nutritional interventions that save lives and prevent irreversible damage caused by malnutrition." Small children are the most vulnerable in these conflict zones and there are alarming reports of suffering coming from across the globe.
The cuts will also take its toll on the popular McGovern-Dole school lunch program. Bread for the World states, "234,000 children will experience reductions from or be denied access to school feeding programs administered through the McGovern-Dole program." Currently, children in Haiti, Afghanistan and Mali are some of the beneficiaries of this program.
The effects of the sequester will be devastating on America's foreign policy, which has been historically powered by food. However, recent years have seen gradual cuts to food aid programs and the sequester will dramatically further that trend. Food aid makes up less than one tenth of one percent of the federal budget but is often targeted for budget cuts by Congress.
Bread for the World wants people to take action and let their representatives know about what these cuts will mean to the poor and hungry.