Religious leaders warn that the global financial crisis threatens progress made against poverty and world hunger. They are urging political leaders not to ignore the poor while debating how to solve the current international financial panic.
Seventy-five religious leaders and representatives attended a September interfaith consultation on global hunger. While the religious leaders maintained a sense of hope about progress made in fighting poverty, they also expressed frustration about what they saw as a disproportionate amount of money being proposed to bail out U.S. financial institutions.
“The U.S. government can come up with $700 billion for the financial system, but religious communities have been working for decades to stop hunger and poverty for pennies,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of the Washington-based anti-hunger group Bread for the World.
Beckmann added that gains made against hunger are “now being undercut by higher prices, particularly of food and oil.”
The religious leaders said they must now pressure governments and remind their own religious constituents of the moral imperative to keep fighting poverty amid the worsening global economy.