November 23, 1985

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

At this time of national Thanksgiving, when we thank God for our many blessings, we are especially mindful of those in distress. And we thank God for inviting us to respond with open hearts to the cry of the afflicted and the needy. For in being generous to others we become more like Him Who has been so generous to us. Most recently, we heard the cry for help that came from the rubble of Mexico City and from the people of Colombia whose villages were engulfed by mud slides. We heard and we responded.

Similarly, we hear and we continue to respond to the cry that comes to our ears from the famine-stricken regions of Africa. That famine has already caused the death of hundreds of thousands of people and endangers the lives of millions. The solution to such famine involves not only rushing emergency food and medical supplies to the areas stricken, but also improving agricultural policies and enlisting greater cooperation by certain governments with international relief agencies.

Americans from all walks of life and every part of our country have responded quickly and generously to every famine that has occurred since World War II. And we have already raised more than $120 million for emergency relief for victims of the current famine in Africa. The generosity and compassion of our people deserve to be recognized and commended.

It has been estimated that in Africa 24 people die of starvation each minute; clearly much more must be done.

Various private organizations are organizing a day of fasting as a means by which Americans can show their concern, express solidarity with the plight of fellow human beings suffering from hunger, and draw attention to efforts to raise funds to help the victims of famine.

The Congress, by House Joint Resolution 386, has designated November 24, 1985, as ``National Day of Fasting to Raise Funds to Combat Hunger'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 24, 1985, as National Day of Fasting to Raise Funds to Combat Hunger. I call upon the people of the United States to observe such day with appropriate ceremonies and other activities and to consider donating to relief organizations fighting hunger.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-third day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:27 a.m., November 25, 1985]

Note: The proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on November 25.