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Rio WYD organizers face financial squeeze

Catholic World News - July 16, 2013

With registration lagging below expectations, the World Youth Day (WYD) celebration in Rio de Janeiro faces financial problems, reports John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter.

Organizers had hoped to attract at least 1 million people to WYD. But less than a month before the events, only 320,000 young people had registered.

Many young people who might have made the trip to Rio are probably being discouraged by the unrest in Brazil. Angry protests—sometimes breaking out into violence—have been organized to protest government spending priorities, including the decision to host both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Early this month, a Brazilian newspaper reported that WYD organized had sought additional funding from government leaders, and had been rebuffed.

WYD organizers have argued that the international gathering will generate revenue for Rio de Janeiro, as tens of thousands of young people patronize the city’s businesses.

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