***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
April 10, 2019
World Relief Responds to Humanitarian Aid Cut to Central America
Baltimore, Md. – Over the last week, President Trump announced that his administration would cut aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador because they had failed to prevent migrants from journeying to the U.S. World Relief responds as the House Foreign Affairs Committee holds a hearing on the importance of U.S. aid to Central America.
“Humanitarian aid is essential to easing the causes of migration and to giving leaders the space to begin to address symptoms of deeper problems,” said Scott Arbeiter, World Relief President. “Such aid helps alleviate poverty and staves off violence in many communities around the world. By cutting aid, we are exacerbating the root causes that make people flee in the first place, and we may be withholding the funds that those countries were using to secure their own borders.”
The administration indicated that it had already moved to divert $450 million and had notified embassies accordingly, though the particulars of the policy change are still unfolding. World Relief believes that this money, used wisely, could be an important tool to mitigate the crises driving individuals and families from their homes.
“We have seen a large number of families arriving at the southern border, but the solution is not to punish them for seeking relief from violence and oppression at home or remove potentially life-saving interventions,” commented World Relief CEO Tim Breene. “Humanitarian assistance takes up less than 1 percent of the U.S. budget, and it’s consistent with our nation’s tradition of compassionate leadership where good can be done. We urge the president to reconsider the decision to withhold aid.”
World Relief recommends investing in measures to alleviate the burden on government officials and local community leaders at the border trying to process the flow of people. We strongly support measures to address and alleviate the root causes that are motivating families to flee Central America. Further, facilitating legal migration options that can be accessed from Central America – or anywhere in the world where someone is seeking refuge in the U.S. – will disincentivize many from making the uncertain trek to the border. Churches and other community groups are willing and able to step into gaps, and World Relief urges the administration to partner more closely with these and other sources of aid at the border.
About World Relief:
World Relief is a global Christian humanitarian organization that seeks to overcome violence, poverty and injustice. Through love in action, we bring hope, healing and restoration to millions of the world’s most vulnerable women, men and children through vital and sustainable programs in disaster response, health and child development, economic development and peacebuilding, as well as refugee and immigration services in the U.S. For 75 years, we’ve partnered with churches and communities, currently across more than 20 countries, to provide relief from suffering and help people rebuild their lives.
Learn more at worldrelief.org.