September 20, 2022

Contact: Jessica Felix Romero |


Faith Leaders Call for More Funding and Action to Address the Global Food Crisis

Washington, DC - Faith leaders, including Sojourners president Rev. Adam Russell Taylor, sent a letter to President Joe Biden ahead of his speech to the UN General Assembly urging him to increase funding to tackle the global food crisis.  The leaders state, "Our own livelihoods and wholeness are inextricably tied to seeking the wholeness and well-being of others.  In our increasingly interdependent world, this religious commitment lends a moral imperative alongside the economic and security imperatives to address the growing global food crisis." 

With at least 140 million people impacted by the global food crisis and 49 million people one step away from famine conditions, the need for additional funding is critical. Faith leaders called on President Biden to use his speech at the UN General Assembly to urge world leaders to commit at least $22 billion.  

The letter also urges support for vulnerable countries through climate finance, reallocated Special Drawing Rights, and debt relief as well as a comprehensive policy approach to the food crisis as proposed by the SDG2 Advocacy Hub. 

President Joseph R. Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500



Secretary of State Antony Blinken
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield
USAID Administrator Samantha Power


September 8, 2022


Dear President Biden,


We, the undersigned faith leaders, are alarmed at the human toll and potential long-term consequences of the global food crisis. Globally, at least 140 million people are currently affected by a dire food crisis; 49 million people are just one step away from famine conditions.


The prophet Isaiah proclaims that the type of religious acts or fasting that pleases God is when it leads us to engage in acts of justice and compassion, specifically by sharing our food with the hungry and dismantling the systems that produce hunger in the first place (58:7).  Isaiah then makes it clear that our own livelihoods and wholeness are inextricably tied to seeking the wholeness and well-being of others.  In our increasingly interdependent world, this religious commitment lends a moral imperative alongside the economic and security imperatives to address the growing global food crisis.


We are thankful for your leadership in fighting this crisis, including the recent G7 commitment of $4.5 billion, more than half of which is coming from the U.S. Unfortunately, the current level of committed funding is woefully insufficient to meet the level of mounting need. In order to save lives in nations on the brink of famine and avoid a state of dire crisis in the future, we urge you to commit additional funding and to use your remarks at the UNGA to urge other world leaders to step up to deliver at least $22 billion, to save lives. We also urge you to support vulnerable countries and communities to build resilience and take measures to secure the future, including by delivering much needed climate finance, reallocated Special Drawing Rights, and meaningful debt relief.


As you know, the causes of this mounting crisis are complex: Food prices rose steadily over the past two decades but exploded in 2021 due to COVID-19’s impact on migratory laborers, shipping, and industrial supply chains. Extreme weather events driven by climate change and political conflict — including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — have further exacerbated the problem.


As the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) reports, there is enough food for everyone. Though unchecked climate change could threaten our abundant food supply by the end of the century, the current crisis we face is not simply about how much food the world produces but is also about how it is distributed. While millions of people face famine, 1.3 billion tons of food are lost or wasted each year. We believe this is a moral and political problem that requires personal and collective change.


The SDG2 Advocacy Hub — a network working to end hunger — and partners have proposed a robust set of policy interventions. The hub’s recommendations included immediate measures to save lives — such as securing sufficient funding to provide food, including therapeutic foods and nutrition services, to those in urgent need — as well as longer-term strategies to avoid similar crises in the future: helping smallholder farmers in the global South boost food production, rolling back mandates that require fuel providers to offer fuel made of food (such as corn), and expanding research to identify the right policies and interventions to prevent food loss and waste.


With eight years left to achieve the SDGs, we believe this type of comprehensive approach is what is needed to save lives now and break the cycle of responding reactively to severe food security crises, which results in more unnecessary suffering and death and costs our nation more in the long run. Our faith compels us to imagine and then cocreate a better world where no one anywhere in the world suffers from the ravages of hunger. We hope and pray that your bolder leadership will help bring that vision closer to reality.        




Rev. Dr. Iva Carruthers, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference

Rev. Eugene Cho, Bread for the World

Minister Max Finberg, Growing Hope Globally

Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, American Baptist Home Mission Societies

Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, Presbyterian Church (USA)

Rev. Carlos L Malave, Latino Christian National Network

Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, National Council of Churches USA  

Dr. Bridget Moix, Friends Committee on National Legislation

Mary Novak, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Rev. Amy Reumann, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Rev. Adam Taylor, Sojourners

Rev. Jim Wallis, Georgetown University Center on Faith and Justice