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MCC to implement budget cuts

January 28, 2009

AKRON, Pa. — Amid the global economic crisis, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is reducing its budget in the coming year while continuing to focus its resources on helping people in poverty around the world.

The budget for MCC's international program, which carries out relief, development and peacemaking work in more than 50 countries, will be reduced by about $2 million and administrative expenditures also are being cut, according to Arli Klassen, MCC's executive director.

"As we make difficult decisions, our highest concern is for the hundreds of thousands of people around the world whose lives are touched by MCC's work," she said.

These cuts for MCC represent a 10-percent reduction. MCC U.S. and the regional MCCs in the U.S. are facing a 9-percent reduction. MCC Canada and provincial MCCs are also facing budget cuts. However, it is not yet clear what the size of the budget cuts in Canada will be. The financial year for the MCCs in Canada ends on Aug. 31.

"Our hope, still, is that the generosity of donors will enable the MCCs in Canada to meet their financial commitments to the people we serve," said Don Peters, executive director of MCC Canada.

While more people are giving money to support MCC's work than in previous years, the average contribution decreased in 2008, and the economic turmoil has affected MCC in other ways. In particular, the value of contributions from Canada was reduced because of a sharp drop in the value of the Canadian dollar relative to the U.S. dollar. Nearly half of MCC's funding for international program comes from Canadian contributions in Canadian dollars. MCC's financial reserves were also reduced by losses in financial markets.

Klassen asks for prayer for the work of MCC and renewed giving to support MCC's mission.

"Thank you for your commitment to walking alongside people who face poverty and conflict, whether we have big resources or smaller resources," Klassen said. "Our commitment to sharing God's love does not change."