SECAM Bishops call on AU, International agencies, to Step up Support for vulnerable People in Africa and its Islands
The Bishops of Africa have appealed to the African Union to sensitize member countries to contribute to the creation of a Solidarity Fund, which will be used to improve the health of the people.
In a statement issued on 31st May 2020 and signed by the President of SECAM, Philippe Cardinal OUÉDRAOGO, the Bishops urged African leaders to ensure that “the limited available resources be used to assist those who really need help, especially, the poorest of the poor and not end in the pockets of the politically connected people through corrupt practices”.
Acknowledging the initiatives already taken by Bilateral and Multilateral aid agencies in the management of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the African prelates further entreated them to take a closer look at the case of Africa, which currently lacks resources in the fight against the pandemic. They additionally pleaded with the aid agencies for massive cancellation of debts of African countries, to enable them to revive their economies.
The Bishops also called on Multinational Companies and Businesses which rely on raw materials from Africa to make significant contributions to the host countries to enable them to provide basic social services such as hospitals, schools, adequate and affordable housing.
They expressed appreciation to respective governments in their efforts to contain the brutal spread of the virus in the Continent and encouraged them to protect the health of the population. They also thanked all the health professionals and religious nuns who have shown extraordinary dedication to alleviating the suffering of the sick. Church institutions directly involved in the fight were also encouraged to remain steadfast and to work with other non-Church institutions in the promotion of good heath for all people of Africa and Madagascar.
The prelates acknowledged that God had not abandoned His children in these difficult times, especially, those infected and affected by Covid-19 but was daily working through doctors, nurses, health workers, volunteers and caregivers who have been on the frontline of this emergency, risking their lives.
In the statement, there was also a call on all sons and daughters of the African continent “to reactivate the value of solidarity that has shaped our societies to better face the impact of the pandemic and to be able to turn our economies around…. In this time when many are in dire need, let us help them to experience the love of God. In the same vein, let us not stigmatize those who have recovered from the COVID-19 disease but accept them warmly and make them feel happy to be back to their families or communities. Let us further join forces to achieve a harmonious development, concerned to preserve human dignity and sustainability of future generations”.
The Bishops used the Statement to once again express their solidarity with all those infected and affected by COVID-19 and assured them of their daily prayers.
They urged everyone “to turn to the Holy Spirit daily and pray that he continues to fill the hearts of the faithful with hope and courage; to kindle in all peoples of the world the fire of his love; to renew the face of the earth, bring an end to the pandemic and pave the way for the emergence of a new world”.
FULL TEXT Source: https://secam.org/ - Image source: Google Image bethbritton