Australia’s Catholic Bishops are urging Australians to confront the challenge of world poverty in their annual Social Justice Statement, Lazarus at Our Gate: A critical moment in the fight against world poverty.
In confronting that challenge, the Bishops said Australians need to acknowledge the undoubted successes of the Millennium Development Goals campaign. For example, as the Statement points out, the proportion of people in the world living in extreme poverty has been halved since 1990.
That is only one of the great achievements brought about by work towards the MDGs and proves that development aid works, the statement continues.
'These achievements also call us to think hard about the important tasks still ahead of us. The benchmark for extreme poverty is an income of $1.25 per day. Can we as Christians really say that that is sufficient? Can we stand by while each year a quarter of a million women die in childbirth, or while malnutrition kills eight million children and confers a legacy of disease and stunted growth on hundreds of millions more?
'Once we have understood that the struggle against profound poverty has produced real achievements, we need to ask where the real faces of poverty are to be found today. This Statement suggests five examples of areas where the world needs to focus its effort: those who are hungriest; those most vulnerable to disasters; Indigenous peoples; those with disabilities; and those uprooted from their homelands by conflict or oppression.'
Brief summary of the Statement