In the midst of bountiful resources, 795 million people–one in nine people–do not have food. Despite the fact that our world is richly endowed with resources by the eternal Creator, far too many people suffer from a lack of a stable food supply and agricultural economic injustice.
As World Food Day approaches on October 16, this issue of the Washington Memo shares the stories of Mennonite Central Committee’s work in influencing global food and hunger policies to make them more sustainable.
Colombia: Last week Colombians voted on the final peace accord between the government and the FARC guerrillas. In a shocking result, the “no” vote won by a thin margin of 50.2 percent. While next steps are still murky, opposition voices are adamant they rejected the accords in their present form and not peace more generally. The bilateral ceasefire will still be upheld.
Democratic Republic of the Congo: On September 13, the Senate unanimously passed S. Res. 485. The resolution, introduced by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), urges the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to comply with constitutional limits on presidential terms by holding elections in 2016.
Haiti: In recent months, a growing number of Haitian immigrants have arrived at the U.S. border from Brazil and Venezuela where they fled after the 2010 earthquake. Most have family here and had been receiving “humanitarian parole” to stay in the U.S. for 1-3 years. On September 22, the Obama administration abruptly ended this policy and announced they would deport more immigrants to Haiti–a country facing post-earthquake housing shortages, a cholera epidemic affecting more than 1 million and new damage from Hurricane Matthew. Sign a petition | Read more: NY Times, The Hill
Immigration: On October 3, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the Obama administration’s request to rehear a case on its proposed deferred action programs for undocumented immigrants, known as DAPA and expanded DACA. The result is that the programs are still blocked from going into effect, but more litigation is expected. Read more.
Israel: The U.S. and Israel have signed a 10-year agreement to provide $38 billion in military aid, the “largest single pledge of military assistance in U.S. history.” The package has been criticized for not being generous enough, even as Amnesty International reports that “Israeli forces continue to display an appalling disregard for human life by using reckless and unlawful lethal force against Palestinians.”
October 13: Webinar on Kairos Palestine with Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac (sign up online)
January 27, 2017: Deadline for our annual high school essay contest. Topics this year include gun violence, immigration, and Colombia.
When ripples become waves (Haiti)
The difference faith makes (Intersections: MCC theory and practice quarterly)
Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach participated in the Global Day of Action and Prayer for Syria events in New York City on September 21, the International Day of Peace.