Letter: Pass COVID relief bill for the world

Published: 12/9/2020 12:01:32 AM

Congress is at last making progress on a bipartisan COVID relief bill. But it is outrageous that so far negotiations have totally left out assistance to poor countries around the world.

This is a pandemic – literally involving everyone on this planet. We cannot allow it to make us retreat from world leadership.

The relief package must also include at least $20 billion in global assistance, particularly for GAVI, the vaccine alliance, the Global Fund, and other nutrition alliances. If nothing is done, the World Bank predicts that the pandemic could drive 100 million people deeper into poverty and global hunger will double, with thousands of infants suffering or dying of malnutrition.

Obviously, people need help here, too, so the package should also include $25 billion in emergency rental assistance targeted to low-income families who need it most, a strengthened eviction moratorium, and food assistance through a 15% boost in SNAP benefits.

I urge Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, and Reps. Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas, to press leadership to pass a robust COVID relief bill in the next week. Lives here and around the world depend on it.




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