October 10, 2011
Representative John Lewis
United States House of Representative
343 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Representative John Lewis,
I am the mother of two boys (21 and 17) and I live in Cotonou, Republic of Benin (West Africa). I am a middle school and a high school teacher at the English International School of Cotonou.
I am enrolled in the Hunger and Agriculture Griot Course launched by One and WFP. Since I am international student living in Rep. of Benin, I have to choose representatives from my sister city. Atlanta, Georgia, USA, is my sister city. I have decided to write to you because you have a proven record on the important issues and you have always worked
I am writing to urge you to support the international programs that fight global hunger in the fiscal year 2012 budget. I urge you to create a circle of protection around programs for hungry and poor people in the United States and around the world.
The international programs provide us with an efficient plan to combat the current global food crisis, help provide nutritious food for many people and their families now and in the future, and establish federal programs and policies to address hunger and its underlying causes.
We are close to one billion hungry people in the world, which is more than the combined populations of the United States, Canada and the European Union. In my country, Republic of Benin, we have children who cannot go to school because they are hungry. A hungry child cannot learn and he or she cannot live a healthy life and lead an active life. In Niger, the country where I was born and where I grew up, I have witnessed hungry mothers and hungry children dying in villages. I witnessed extreme hunger in Niger and in the Sahara desert and I believe that the United States has a moral responsibility to assist the world’s hungriest and most vulnerable people.
About 11 million children die each year before their fifth birthday, and 60 percent of those deaths are caused by malnutrition, under-nourishment, and wasting. Worldwide, more than 1 billion people do not have enough to eat. UN health and food organizations calculate that 25, 000 people throughout the developing world die every day from hunger and malnutrition and related diseases. It’s the equivalent of sixty jumbo jets crashing each day.
In Cotonou (Rep of Benin), we have followed with a lot of pride the commitment and visionary leadership of our African fellow, John Agyekum Kufuor. We have admired the policies that he had implemented to alleviate hunger and poverty. In Rep of Benin, we are willing to follow these policies in order to change and improve people’s lives. We are proud to see that President Kufuor is going to receive the 2011 World Food Prize.
Ghana, under the leadership of President Kufuor, was the first sub-Saharan African country to cut in half the proportion of its people who suffers from hunger, and to achieve the UN Millenium Development Goal 1 before the 2015 deadline.
I know you share my desire to help end global hunger. Therefore, I am writing to urge you to take action and not to cut the international programs that fight global hunger in the fiscal year 2012 budget.
I look forward to your response on this important issue.