Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Religious leaders from around the country met with a high-ranking member of the US G20 delegation on the eve of the Pittsburgh Summit and asked for hunger issues to be made a higher priority in the coming days. The leaders came together under the umbrella of the international organization “Bread for the World” to say that economic recovery should not be measured by a bank’s balance sheet but should be measured by the number of people no longer hungry. Steve Colecchi of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops says the leaders need to know that hunger is not just a number on a report. He says hunger has a face, “It’s the face of anguished parents helplessly watching their children languish in hunger, its the gaunt face of people ding at an early age ravished by preventable illness, and the faces of children whose growth is stunted and education impaired forever.” The religious leaders noted that the percentage of children with out enough food fell from 33% in 1990 to 26% in 2006 but when food prices spiked in 2007 and the recession hit in 2008 the number once again began to climb. Members of the group say they know pressure is exerted on world leaders by people with much more power than a group of clergy but with the power of prayer they have more power than anyone to influence the leader’s decisions. National Association of Evangelicals Spokesperson Galen Carey says it is not enough to repackage programs that are already in the works and call it progress and he called on leaders to live up to their past promises to combat hunger. Steve Gutow is the president of the Jewish Council on Public Affairs. He says it is clear the effects of climate change hardest hit the poor and it is also clear that they will also be hardest hit by the practices that will prevent climate change. He says leaders must make policies that will lessen the blow. He says, “We must be smarter than we think we are.” The members of the G20 will discuss at least one resolution dealing with monetarily assisting emerging countries in implement green practices.