Caritas joins Pope’s call for a global ceasefire and debt relief for poor countries


As the planet faces exponential challenges amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Church’s humanitarian organization calls for a global ceasefire and debt relief for developing countries.

By Linda Bordoni

Caritas Internationalis calls on actors around the world to heed Pope Francis’ call for a global ceasefire at a time when the suffering of millions of people has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

And looking at the G20 finance ministers’ summit scheduled for this weekend to discuss the economic calamity resulting from the pandemic, the Church relief agency is calling for more than debt suspension for the world’s worst countries. poor people of the world.

In April, the World Bank and the G20 agreed to endorse the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) to avoid the pandemic’s impact on the world’s most vulnerable.

Echoing the pope’s call for debt reduction or cancellation in the face of the unprecedented crisis, Caritas Internationalis secretary general said the organization has clearly called on the Group of 20 finance ministers to take concrete action and write off debts to avert disaster for hundreds of people. millions of people.

Aloysius John’s call came during the presentation of the Caritas Internationalis annual report which takes stock of current challenges – both from a health and economic perspective – but looks to the future in the post-Covid19 world.

Welcoming the participants to the press conference, Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle also highlighted the consequences of economic sanctions in the Middle East, noting that they not only do not lead to solutions but, he said, they affect the poorest and most vulnerable.

It is neither easy nor comfortable to listen to the poignant tales of the suffering of migrants and refugees, who find themselves even more alienated and unwanted in this time of pandemic, of people stricken not only by the virus but by war, internal conflicts and the collapse of economies and health systems.

Looking to the future in a post-Covid19 world

But John has been firm in saying that Caritas, which has raised more than 12 million euros through the work of its vast network around the world, reaching 15 to 16 million people since the start of the pandemic to date, is preparing for a new start: “a new beginning for the post-Covid19 world.”

He said life-saving aid reached desperate people in Bangladesh and Myanmar, Brazil, Venezuela and the Central African Republic, as well as Lebanon, a country that hosts millions of Syrian refugees and migrant workers, and where an economic and humanitarian crisis is constant. degenerate into disaster as the world looks the other way.

“The Caritas Confederation is a living organism that changes and adapts every day,” he said, reaffirming his promise to continue to defend, serve and accompany the poor.

Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, President of Caritas South Africa, and Rita Rhayem, Director of Caritas Lebanon, provided their testimonies and points of view, emphasizing the role of the Church in bringing not only much needed material relief, but also a emotional and psychological comfort and the light of hope and faith.

Caritas, they all reaffirmed, may be changing and metamorphosing in changing times, but it is increasingly committed to its mission to show us how to apply “the globalization of solidarity”.

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