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A Letter You Can Send
Support increased aid for East Africa and oppose budget cuts for foreign aid

Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Djibouti, also known as the Horn of Africa, are suffering their worst drought in 60 years. An estimated 12 million people face a food crisis, and the United Nations has declared a famine in southern Somalia.

Every day, thousands of people, mostly women and children, leave their homes to find food and water. Many do not survive.

Recent political trends encourage some politicians to oppose the foreign aid needed to help prevent famines like this.  

You can tell your elected officials to support increased aid to the Horn of Africa and to oppose cuts in foreign aid.

It's easy to send a letter today! (See below.) You can also spread the word!

Here are versions in Microsoft Word that you can download and edit if you like:

Write Your Congressperson!

Write your Senator!

Write President Obama! If you have trouble with this link, his address is:
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

…and feel free to use the following letter as a model. Politicians consider handwritten letters more effective, since that shows you think this issue is worth even more of your time:

Your Name
Your Street Address, Apt. Number (if any)
City, State, Zip Code
(optional) Your Phone Number

(Today's Date)

The Honorable ____(Full name of Your Representative or Senator)
Washington, DC (zip code)
(Office addresses, telephone and fax numbers, and other contact information for your representatives can be found here: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/)

Dear Representative (or President or Senator) ___ (add their full name),

East Africa needs our immediate help.

Over 12.4 million people in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti face severe malnourishment and dehydration.

Over 29,000 children under age five are already dead.

What you can do
According to the National Priorities Project, the United States spends about $1.8 billion every week on the war in Iraq, but has allocated a total of only $580 million in aid to nations in the Horn of Africa this fiscal year. As reported by the UN Financial Tracking Service, there are still over a billion dollars of unmet, emergency requirements for this drought.

This tragedy could have been avoided if the United States and other nations were more effective with foreign aid. However, a bill to slash funding for foreign aid programs was approved recently by the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Foreign Affairs.

It is important to reduce the deficit, but not by cutting programs that help the world’s poorest people. We should instead expand and improve these programs!

Please introduce legislation to raise our contribution for the Horn of Africa to $1 billion this fiscal year. America should encourage our allies to give generously, too. That way, we can respond to the immediate crisis and start projects that bring a more permanent solution for the region.

It is also important that we get to the root of these problems. Please oppose the House Appropriations Bill in its current form. Instead, support legislation that provides more funding to our aid programs.

Please let me know today the specific things that you are doing for each of these urgent reforms.

Thank you,

(your signature)

(your type-written name)


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by Nicoḷ Bessone, Blaise Bradley, Priyanka Katumuluwa, and Bill Blackman Hearts & Minds volunteers
Copyrights: Entire website © 1997 - 2015 by Hearts and Minds Network, Inc., This web page - http://www.heartsandminds.org/poverty/action/2.htm online September 7, 2011, latest changes September 7, 2011


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