Last Wednesday Pastor Rick Warren testified during a hearing of the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs along with US Ambassador for AIDS Deborah Birx, head of the Global Fund Dr. Mark Dybul, and Sir Elton John. During the panel, which focused on global health, Pastor Rick shared with the Senators the impact that has been made through the PEACE Plan when local churches are leveraged as key stakeholders in global health and community development.
“In much of the world, the church is the only sector outside of the capital,” he told the Subcommittee. “Even if we have all of the meds for TB, AIDS, HIV, Malaria, and all the other diseases, the issue of distribution will not be solved unless we involve the local churches . . . If we’re going to absolutely eradicate these diseases, we’ve got to do a combination of the faith sector, the public, and the private sector.”
Pastor Rick outlined a new approach needed as we move forward on foreign assistance: “First we must form a new perspective on foreign assistance. Second we must forget a new partnership in distribution, and third, we must fund a new priority in the budget.”
He also highlighted the fact that contrary to popular belief, foreign aid is less than 1% of the US federal budget. Such aid, he argued, is an incredibly efficient investment, as money spent saving lives all over the world creates friends that become important allies rather than potential enemies in the era of global terrorism.
“Medicine cost less than tanks. And the resources that we budget from humanitarian relief programs can really save us from spending far far more to send soldiers when resentment boils over. It’s strategically smart for America’s security and safety, to help people who are in pain,” he told those assembled.
Watch the full panel below:
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