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Act on poverty to free Nigerian schoolgirls

Nigerian Bishop Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji argues that tackling poverty, corruption and poor governance are essential as the country struggles with extremists responsible for seizing 200 school girls.

Caritas and the female face of migration

By Maria Suelzu, International Advocacy Officer, Migration Team, Caritas Internationalis On 15 February I attended an event organised by Vatican Radio. It was a reading of some excerpts from the books written by women migrants who had taken part in the literary competition “Lingua Madre” (Mother Tongue) in Italy. I was moved by the stories of these migrant women and by the quality of their writing. My role was that of presenting the activities of the Caritas Confederation for women migrants. Below you will find the text of my speech.

Good progress on AIDS – but funding remains an issue

By the Rev. Msgr. Robert Vitillo, Cartitas Internationalis Special Adviser on HIV/AIDS, and Ms. Aurorita Mendoza, CI volunteer in Geneva As the days begin to wind down at the 19th International AIDS Conference, we’re hearing the good news – about an HIV-free generation, seeing the end of the epidemic, more and more people now receiving ARV treatment.  And indeed, the optimism has some basis. But let’s go a bit more deeply into both the progress and the challenges posed during this conference …  Much scientific progress has been made.  The virus can be kept in check with a range of better medications, which are effective both for treatment and for preventing further spread of the disease. The hope of discovering an HIV vaccine has been boosted by some initial results of a vaccine trial in Thailand; it showed only guarded results for protection of people from HIV infection but at least it renewed [...]

Keeping children HIV-free and keeping their mothers alive

By Msgr. Robert Vitillo, Caritas Internationalis Special Advisor on HIV/AIDS, and Ms. Aurorita Mendoza, Caritas Internationalis Volunteer in Geneva One year following the launch of the Global Plan towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive, two-thirds of the 22 focus countries are showing good progress towards meeting their targets. UNAIDS timed its Progress Report on the Global Plan to coincide with the International AIDS Conference, held in Washington, DC, between 22-27 July 2012. UNAIDS reported an optimistic trend in the implementation of this comprehensive strategy to benefit pregnant women and children living with or affected by HIV and AIDS. The Plan was launched in June 2011, and aims to reduce the number of children infected by HIV by 90% by 2015 and to reduce pregnancy-related deaths among women with HIV by 50%. Of the 22 countries, eight – Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, [...]

Pope meets with UNAIDS chief

Executive Director of UNAIDS Michel Sidibé was in Rome yesterday for meetings with Pope Benedict XVI, Holy See officials and Caritas Internationalis representatives. Sidibé asked Pope Benedict for his support in keeping children free from HIV. He said it’s an achievable goal and one which can be reached by 2015. “Millions of people around the world living with and affected by HIV are being supported by Catholic health care organisations,” said Mr Sidibé. “The full engagement of the Catholic Church in efforts to achieve zero new HIV infections among children is of paramount importance.” Listen to Philipp Hitchens interview with Michel Sidibé. UNAIDS and partners launched last year a Global Plan towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive. The plan outlines a strategy which focuses particularly on the 22 countries that account for more than 90 percent of new HIV infections […]

Future of Catholic peacebuilding?

By Patrick Nicholson, Caritas Internationalis Read this letter in French The best kept secret of the Catholic Church it is suggested is its Catholic Social Teaching (CST covers poverty, economics, society and the role of the state). If that’s so, says Gerard Powers of the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute, then Catholic Social Teaching’s best kept secret in turn is its work on peacebuilding. Revealing this treasure was the work of delegates at a conference on the ‘Future of peacebuilding: Contributions from Catholic Theology, Ethics, Praxis’ held in Rome 30 June. The meeting was organised by the Catholic Peacebuilding Network, and included among its sponsors Caritas Internationalis. An audience of diplomats, aid workers, peacebuilding practitioners and academics heard from speakers such as Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Michel Roy, Caritas Internationalis Secretary General and Maryann Cusimano Love of the Catholic University of America. [...]

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