Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 321

Posts Tagged ‘poverty’

Pope to visit Caritas in Rome to highlight poverty

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 13 febbraio 2010

Pope Benedict XVI will visit the Caritas shelter in Rome on Sunday, 14th February, to highlight poverty in Europe.  The Pope will visit the medical centre, the homeless hostel and the canteen. While there he will speak to people who use Caritas services at the hostel, doctors, nurses, Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the mayor of Rome, as well as some of the 300 volunteers who help to run it.  Caritas in Italy says that between 2007 and 2008 the number of people coming to them for help saw a 20 percent increase.  Caritas Europa recently launched its “Zero Poverty” campaign which encourages governments to tackle the root causes of poverty as part of the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion.  Despite the wealth of many European countries, poverty is becoming an increasing problem. Seventy-nine million people in Europe currently live below the poverty line. Nineteen million of whom are children.  “Caritas in Europe wants to contribute to a new way of looking at poverty,” says Fr Erny Gillen, President of Caritas Europa. “Poverty is more than a lack of material well-being. It affects the person in his or her body, his or her soul and his or her life. As a human community, we cannot let even a single person slide into the poverty spiral.”  Caritas has four food canteens around Rome which feed 1300 people a day. It also has many other services including hostels for people with HIV, crèches for children of immigrants and the “Emporium”, a Caritas shop where people who don’t have much money can go with tokens to collect essential items. Caritas says that lack of job stability, weakened family and community ties and a lack of social safety nets all contribute to the increased number of poor and the current crisis.

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VII Match Against Poverty in Lisbon on January 25

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 23 gennaio 2010

Lisbon, Forty international football players hailing from teams across the world will compete in two  heavily star-studded teams in Monday’s seventh annual Match Against Poverty, held this year in Lisbon, Portugal. For the past seven years, UNDP’s Match Against Poverty has raised funds for global efforts to reduce poverty while at the same time shining a much needed spotlight on those efforts. This year, in the wake of the massive devastation that struck Haiti, the organizers and players decided that all proceeds will go toward relief and reconstruction efforts there. The players, brought together through the efforts of UNDP Goodwill Ambassador’s Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane, include two rising Haitian players from the Portuguese Football Clubs, Jean Sony and Joseph Peterson, representing their recently devastated nation.    The Brazilian midfielder Kaká (Real Madrid) will represent Ronaldo who, unfortunately, is unable to attend the Match as he starts, on 24 January, the Brazilian football season with his Club Corinthians. The Match is also intended to focus attention on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted in 2000. They seek to halve world poverty by 2015. The Match Against Poverty is supported by theFédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).The complete list of confirmed players is as follows: Akwá (Angola), Kaká, Marcelo and Luciano da Silva (Brazil), Pavel Nedved (Czech Republic), Michael Laudrup (Denmark), Alfredo Esteves (East Timor), Graeme Le Saux (England), Zinedine Zidane,  Fabien Barthez and Christophe Dugarry (France), Jean Sony and Joseph Peterson (Haiti), Baichung Bhutia (India), Edgar Davids, Patrick Kluivert, Phillip Cocu (Netherlands), Lui Figo, Fernando Couto and Pauleta (Portugal), Gheorghe Hagi and Gheorghe Popescu (Romania), Lucas Radebe (South Africa) and Fernando Hierro (Spain) will play for the Ronaldo, Zidane & Friends team. Rui Costa, Nuno Gomes, and former Benfica players will compose the Benfica All Star team. More top international names are expected to confirm in the coming days. More than 20 TV channels around the world will broadcast the match live. The match will be refereed by Italian legendary Pierluigi Collina

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A Signal against Poverty and Social Exclusion

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 21 gennaio 2010

The President of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe, CPCE, the Revd Thomas Wipf, welcomes the European Year 2010 against Poverty and Social Exclusion, which will be opened officially in Madrid tomorrow. The aim of the European Year is to encourage all sections of society to become involved politically in the struggle against poverty and social exclusion. “The protestant churches welcome the fact that the EU and its member states have declared the struggle against poverty as their central theme for 2010. From the beginning the churches have committed themselves to this European Year against poverty and social exclusion”, explained Wipf. “The social impact of the financial crisis is affecting ever more people in Europe. We hope that this year will be more than just a publicity campaign. The churches expect the EU and its member states to set themselves very concrete goals to be reached in the coming years for the overcoming of poverty in Europe and in the world.” In the next few days the EU is holding discussions on the reformulation of its economic, social and ecological targets for the coming decade. “In the protestant view the struggle against poverty is not limited to situations of material need”, Wipf said further. “Poverty and social exclusion can be felt everywhere where people are deprived of the chance to take part in social life, when a school system systematically disadvantages children from poor or migrant families or when after their training young people find no access to the work market.” In summer 2008 a survey among the 105 CPCE member churches in 29 countries had already emphasised social exclusion as the greatest social challenge for the protestant churches in Europe. The results of the questionnaire were included in the CPCE study “Stand up for justice” which at the moment is being circulated among the member churches for their reactions. The study is intended to work out criteria for the development of ethical judgments on social challenges. The results should help the churches to coordinate their action on the European level and so far as possible to speak with a common voice.

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Against Poverty

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 19 gennaio 2010

Geneva-Lisbon The United Nations Development Programme and the Benfica Foundation announced, today, that they will dedicate the proceeds from the 2010 Match Against Poverty  taking  place in Lisbon on January 25  to support relief efforts in Haiti. In addition, a widespread advocacy campaign will accompany the broadcast of the match to encourage viewers to contribute personally.  For the past seven years, UNDP’s Match Against Poverty has raised funds for and awareness of global efforts to reduce poverty. This year, in the wake of the massive devastation that struck Haiti, the organizers and players decided that the funds amplify efforts to support the Haitian people in their time of need. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with 80 percent of the population living under the poverty line and 54 percent in abject poverty.   The January 12 earthquake has created a humanitarian crisis that is growing dimmer by the hour.   Benfica Foundation President Luis Filipe Vieira said his organization stands ready to offer full support in solidarity with the Haitian people. “We are extremely saddened by the disaster in Haiti. We would like to show our full support by dedicating the Match to the relief of the victims.” UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo echo Vieira’s sentiments. “Donating the proceedings from the Match, lends deeper meaning to our cause against poverty,” said Zidane. Ronaldo will start the football season with his Club Corinthians-FC on January 24 and due to his commitments with the Club, he will not be able to play at the Match Against Poverty. He has invited his Brazilian teammate and very good friend Kaka to represent him in the match. Kaká who is also a UN Goodwill Ambassador for the World Food Programme (WFP) has accepted the invitation and will join Zinédine Zidane in the Ronaldo, Zidane & Friends team opposing Benfica All Stars. “I am honoured to represent Ronaldo and I am looking forward to playing this important match, dedicated to Haiti’s relief efforts, stated Kaká.
UNDP is the UN’s global network to help people meet their development needs and build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working as a trusted partner with Governments, civil society and the private sector to help them build their own solutions to global and national development challenges. Further information can be found at

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Asia’s poor

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 2 novembre 2009

“Misguided campaigns by the Melbourne Zoo, celebrities and activists lack understanding of why forest and orang-utans are being lost. It isn’t palm oil it’s poverty”, said Tim Wilson, Director of the Intellectual Property and Free Trade Unit at the Institute of Public Affairs in Melbourne, Australia today. Mr Wilson’s comments follow the release of Palming off livelihoods?, that analyses anti-palm oil campaigns and finds that poverty is the root cause of deforestation and orang-utan population loss. Palming off livelihoods?: The misguided campaign against palm oil is the first research paper of the IPA’s Sustainable Development campaign and can be found at Palming off livelihoods? has been released in the lead up to this week’s Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil Conference in Malaysia to reinforce the importance of poverty alleviation to reduce environmental degradation. “The evidence is clear that if you want to reduce environmental degradation the best option is poverty reduction by giving allowing people, especially in poor rural communities, a sustainable livelihood”.  “Sustainable development is delivered through environmental, social and economically sustainable policy solutions, not cutting off people’s livelihoods”. “Millions of people are trapped in poverty in Asia, and they’re trying to improve their economic wellbeing, especially in rural communities through farming. Palm oil is grown because it is an efficient, high-yield, in-demand agriculture commodity that poor farmers can grow to lift themselves out of poverty”.  “Palm oil is in high demand around the world, including in other poor countries. Reduced consumption in developed countries will only lead to increased availability and consumption in the developing world, but poor farmers will simply get a smaller return”.  “If palm oil is blocked other lower yield seeds will simply be produced, and they’ll take up more land to produce less”. “If developed world activists want to attack the cause of deforestation and the loss of orang-utan populations they should attack poverty, not its solution – sustainable development”, Mr Wilson said.

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Sudan faces permanent humanitarian emergency

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 22 giugno 2009

Caritas says that poverty and suffering in Sudan’s Darfur region and in south Sudan are at such high levels there is a permanent humanitarian crisis there.  Catholic Church leaders from Sudan, Caritas members providing support to the vulnerable on the ground, and donors meet 22-23 at Caritas Internationalis Headquarters in the Vatican to discuss how to improve a coordinated humanitarian response. Insecurity both in Darfur and increasingly so in south Sudan risks further destabilizing the region and creating greater levels of suffering, the aid agency warns.  Attending the Caritas meeting next week include Bishop Vincent Mojwok, Chairman of SUDANAID (Caritas Sudan), Archbishop Paolino Lukudu Loro of Juba, Bishop Eduardo Kussala of Tombura Yambio, H. L. Bishop Antonio Menegazzo of El Obeid (covering Darfur) and Rt. Rev. Daniel Adwok Marco Kur, Auxiliary Bishop of Khartoum. Bishop Eduardo Kussala of Tombura Yambio said, “Sudan faces a lot of challenges. There is an ongoing humanitarian crisis. People don’t have access to healthcare, education, water and protection from high levels of violence.  “Caritas and the Church are the only sources of education, health and social services in many places. The Sudan Partnership Forum meeting aims to create a common strategy for Caritas members and its Church partners so that we deliver aid in the most effective way.”  Malnutrition is at 16 percent in south Sudan. Nine out of ten people in south Sudan live on less than $1 a day. In 2007, south Sudan had the highest maternal mortality rate in the world – with 2,030 women dying per 100,000 births.  A shaky peace holds in the south and half of the 4 million refugees who fled decades of fighting have returned to their homes. However, the number of killings is now believed to have overtaken Darfur.  In Darfur in the west of Sudan, 300,000 people have been killed and 2.7 million uprooted in the ongoing conflict. The humanitarian situation in Darfur is also worsening with 290,000 people fleeing their homes during the first 9 months of 2008.  Caritas in Sudan works in emergency aid, social welfare and development. Caritas continues to operate in Darfur, providing 297,000 people with food, shelter, clean water, healthcare, support for livelihoods, counseling, peace-building activities and education.

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Cardinal says 2009 for a “blueprint for a better world”

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 7 Mag 2009

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has called for 2009 to be a year of “a blueprint for a better world”.  Speaking to Holy See ambassadors from a dozen European countries at Caritas Internationalis’ Vatican headquarters, the Cardinal spoke of the effects of the economic crisis, cuts to foreign aid and climate change on the world’s poorest people.  He said rich countries are spending money on bail-outs while cutting or not honouring their commitment to aid, meaning the poor are suffering.  “We can either greet 2009 with paralysis or as an opportunity for change,” said the Cardinal. Cardinal Rodriguez warned the ambassadors that up to 200,000 to 400,000 more children a year could die if the current economic crisis persists. Millions more people are expected to slide into poverty in 2009.  “Our fears are that the poorest people who have benefited least from decades of unequal economic growth will pay the greater price for this folly,” he said.  He called on heads of state to show genuine leadership and convince voters that “supporting the poor is not a fair-weather choice but a moral responsibility”.  Despite campaigns to boost aid flows to poorer countries, recent figures from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) show that aid spending is at the level it was at in 1993.  The Cardinal emphasised the need for both leaders and citizens alike to assume responsibility and accountability for the economic and climate crises.  “Each of us has a responsibility to promote and to protect the common good, and to hold our governments to account for their actions,” he said.  As the Church celebrates the Pauline year, Cardinal Rodriguez suggested that the leaders of the world’s richest countries might experience their own “road to Damascus” moment.  “There must be a conversion away from the old system of blind greed to one where our eyes are opened to justice and dignity for all,” he said.

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