Over the last two weeks, the world’s poor lost two champions.
On October 14th, former US Senator Arlen Specter lost his fight with cancer. Both as Republican or Democrat, Senator Spector understood the importance of the international affairs to America’s security and leadership in the world, and while his party may have changed, his support for the world’s poorest people was unwavering. Year after year, Senator Specter joined a bipartisan group of senators to call for robust funding of programs that help fight extreme poverty and preventable diseases. He will especially be remembered as a champion of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on the Senate Appropriations Committee, helping to save millions of lives. The Senator was also a great friend to ONE and engaged with us so many times. His office doors both in DC and across Pennsylvania were always open to our members, and his staff warmly received our messages – a true reflection of the man they served.
Just a week after losing Senator Specter, we also lost former US Senator George McGovern. Throughout his long career, Senator McGovern was devoted to fighting hunger. Senator McGovern was the first director of the Food for Peace program and later served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations for Food and Agriculture. In this role, he worked closely with his friend U.S. Senator Robert Dole to broaden the scope of global school feeding and nutrition programs. This work resulted in the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program. Through this program, over 22 million children around the world have been provided healthy meals.
The work of both men will endure, and here at ONE, we are determined to follow their examples, and continue the fight against extreme poverty. It’s the best way we know how to say “Thank you, Senators.”