Caritas wants to hold leaders responsible for aid promises

Two leading international Catholic development networks are targeting the world's richest and powerful countries with a campaign to "make aid work" which aims to ensure that international leaders meet promises to eliminate poverty in the world's poorest countries.

The Caritas Internationalis and International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity (CIDSE) networks yesterday launched the new campaign "Make Aid Work. The World Can't Wait", a statement carried by AlertNet reports.

The two networks are aiming for a mass mobilisation of Catholics that will urge the world's most powerful leaders to keep promises made at the G8 Summit in Gleneagles in 2005 at this year's June summit in Heiligendamm, Germany.

Finance Ministers of the world's seven most industrialised countries meet this weekend to discuss the global economy. CIDSE and Caritas say poverty in the developing world must be their priority.

"Our campaign hopes to engage Catholics throughout the world in speaking out against the injustice of global poverty," said Duncan MacLaren, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis.

"We want the world's richest countries to listen to that chorus and live up to their promises to eliminate poverty in the poorest countries."

MacLaren said the Catholic organisations want the G-8 member nations to give reports at the summit on what they have accomplished and on their specific plans to meet the goals, a Catholic News Service report adds.

The Caritas-CIDSE campaign calls on Catholics to send postcards to government leaders before the June G-8 summit.

Leading cardinals and bishops will also meet government officials before the summit to remind the politicians of their commitments.

Caritas India in bid to stop farmer suicide

Meanwhile, Daily News and Analysis reports that Archbishop Oswald Gracias of Mumbai has launched a campaign by Caritas India to prevent and stop suicide by struggling Indian farmers.

Alarmed by the rising number of suicides among distressed farmers, India's Church has decided to launch a nationwide Save Farmers - Save India campaign from the first week of April.

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's package has not brought a solution to the plight of distressed farmers across the country. Their rising suicides have become a national shame. Hence we have decided to launch a campaign to save farmers," Archbishop Oswald Gracias of Mumbai and President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India, said.

He said 15 professional medical and psychiatric counselling centres would be set up in three Indian states to conduct camps and assist farmers.

Call goes out for a billion Catholics to back global poverty campaign (AlertNet, 8/2/07)
Catholic agencies ask rich countries to prove they will increase aid (Catholic News Service, 8/2/07)
Catholic bishops to launch Save Farmers campaign (DNA India, 8/2/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Make Aid Work
Caritas Internationalis | Caritas Australia

9 Feb 2007

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