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Faith leaders to press G-20 for anti-poverty action

PC(USA) will be represented by hunger program’s Ruth Farrell

September 18, 2009

Louisville

More than 25 Christian, Jewish and Islamic leaders will gather in Pittsburgh just prior to the Sept. 24-25 G-20 summit of industrialized nations to press world leaders for actions — not just words — that will help hungry and poor people lift themselves out of poverty.

Representing the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) at the faith leaders gathering will be Presbyterian Hunger Program Coordinator Ruth Farrell.

The faith leaders will hold a Sept. 23 press conference, where they will voice their support for a new U.S. government initiative to reduce hunger and poverty around the world. Following the press conference they will process to First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, where they are slated to meet with representatives of the U.S. delegation to the G-20.

“When the one billion people who are hungry are able to eat, then we can celebrate economic recovery,” Farrell said.  “The good news is that our planet produces enough food.  Is there the will to live differently so that everyone gets a fair share?” asked Farrell, typifying the arguments the faith group will make to U.S. and G-20 representatives.

The gathering has been organized by Bread for the World, the Alliance to End Hunger, and a number of other religious and humanitarian organizations.

 “The most important indicator of economic recovery should be what happens to hungry and poor people — the many families who are struggling in our own country and the tens of millions who have been driven into hunger around the world,” said the Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, a collective Christian voice urging U.S. decision-makers to end hunger at home and abroad.

The current global recession came on the heels of two years of soaring food prices.  Together, these crises have led to dramatic increases in hunger and poverty around the world. For the first time in history, a number of international organizations estimate, more than a billion people are suffering from hunger.

The Group of 20 (G-20), established in 1999, brings together major industrialized and developing economies to discuss global economic issues. Together, these countries account for 90 percent of global gross national product, 80 percent of world trade, and represent two-thirds of the world’s population.

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