Marge Vance

Many of us have grown up hearing the age-old adage to count our blessings and be thankful for what we have.  Unfortunately, a vast number of people both here and abroad have very little for which to be thankful!

Hunger and climate change are two of the most critical global issues facing the world today.

According to the United Nations World Food Program, 345 million people are experiencing high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition – a magnitude of hunger that our world has not seen before.

The food crisis and climate change disproportionately affect communities experiencing poverty and vulnerability.

Often these communities, through no fault of their own, lack the basic necessities and support to overcome the challenges caused by severe weather events making it difficult to recover and rebuild their lives.

The World Bank estimates that if we do nothing to address the impacts of climate change today, up to 130 million people will be pushed into poverty by 2030.  A staggering figure indeed which requires action now!

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and its partners around the world are working tirelessly to assist communities most vulnerable to climate change through adaptation programs focused on agriculture, disaster preparedness, or humanitarian response.

I am the leader of a local CRS volunteer chapter which advocates for legislation supported by CRS to address the dire issues of hunger and climate change.

The United States government has the resources to help those throughout the world experiencing poverty and vulnerability by providing necessary assistance in adapting to the world’s changing climate.

Funding for international aid programs which is less than 1% of the federal budget can have a significant positive impact on millions of lives.

As a concerned citizen, I urge Congress to move the U.S. to act as a global leader to address the impacts of climate change and ensure that communities worldwide can survive and thrive.

It is important that we contact our elected representatives and encourage their support of funding for international poverty – reducing humanitarian aid. It is incumbent upon us to be the voice for the voiceless!

As Pope Francis has so eloquently stated, “May the relationship between man and nature not be driven by greed, to manipulate and exploit, but may the divine harmony between beings and creation be conserved in the logic of respect and care.”  Amen!


Marge Vance serves as the Chapter Leader for the Catholic Relief Services Philadelphia-area chapter.