Evangelical Leaders Urge Trump Administration to Continue Funding Foreign Humanitarian Aid Programs After Millions in Aid is Cut

Residents queue up to receive humanitarian aid at the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk, in Damascus March 11, 2015. The Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, which is under siege by Syrian government forces fighting rebels, has received its first relief supplies since the beginning of December. The aid was delivered by the United Nations Relief and Works Organization UNRWA on March 5, the organization said in a news release. | (Photo: Reuters/Stringer)

As the Donald Trump administration continues to conduct a review of United States foreign aid spending after cutting aid earmarked for Palestine, Syria, and Pakistan last year, evangelical leaders are calling for the continued funding of crucial U.S. aid assistance programs overseas.

Leaders of over 25 leading faith-based groups and nonprofits have signed onto a letter sent to President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and National Security Advisor John Bolton last Friday calling for the protection of America’s development, diplomatic, and humanitarian programs around the world.

The letter was signed by prominent figures like leading Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore, former Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd, World Vision President Edgar Sandoval and National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference President Samuel Rodriguez.

The lead signatory of the letter is National Association of Evangelicals President Leith Anderson.

“As Christian leaders from across the United States, we write to share our strong support for our nation’s efforts to assist our brothers and sisters around the world,” the letter, a copy of which was shared with The Christian Post, reads.

“These vital resources and programs save lives, cure diseases, protect our freedoms, and help millions around the world lift themselves and their families out of poverty and into a brighter, more secure future.”

The letter comes as the Trump White House has spoken out against a Democrat-led House bill that, among other things, would have provided $12 billion more for “international affairs programs” than the administration had wanted.

The administration complained that the House-passed spending bill, H.R. 21, also included $2.9 billion more “for economic and development assistance, including funding for the West Bank/Gaza, Syria, and Pakistan, where our foreign aid is either frozen or under review.”

Although the faith leaders’ statement doesn’t specifically mention programs or countries by name, it asserts that America’s leadership on the global stage is “manifested in investments in longer-term development programs that have helped to reduce by half the number of people living in extreme poverty.”

The programs, they say, have also “reduced infant mortality rates by 50 percent, promote human rights and fight to protect the religious freedom of those persecuted around the world.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith