*excerpted from the LWR web site*
Dear Senators Russell Feingold and Herbert Kohl,
I am writing to ask that Congress increase U.S. Development Assistance Account funding to $500 million for Fiscal Year 2008 for clean drinking water and adequate sanitation internationally. These increases should be part of an overall increase in U.S. development assistance for poverty alleviation world-wide. Millions of people every year die from diseases that are easily preventable due to the lack of sufficient clean water.
While the U.S. Government has long funded water and sanitation efforts abroad, most of this aid is emergency and temporary water supplies or for projects concentrated in a few countries. With its Water for the Poor Act, Congress focused concern on long-term, sustainable water and sanitation provision in countries of greatest need. The Act emphasizes affordable and equitable access for impoverished communities.
Congress' continued leadership role is critical. In calendar year 2007 there is an unmatched opportunity for the U.S. to exert moral, diplomatic and financial leadership so as to reach the goal, as stated in the Water for the Poor Act, of halving by 2015 "the proportion of people unable to reach or afford safe drinking water and basic sanitation."
Gracious God, fount of every blessing,
Your life-giving love flows for us and through us.
We give you thanks, for in all things you
sustain us through your Holy Spirit.
Yet drought is ever present in this life.
The land cries out for rain,
crops and cattle long for flowing streams,
and children cry empty tears of thirst.
Flood this creation with your healing waves.
Make us instruments of your peace,
and bless us in our thirst for righteousness.
Help us to proclaim the deluge of your Word.
Cleanse our hearts in your righteous care.
And remind us always of the love poured out for us.
Through your Son Jesus Christ, the Fount, we pray.