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US bishops call for long-term aid, debt cancellation for Haiti

Catholic World News - January 29, 2010

Writing on behalf of the US bishops, Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, praised the Obama administration’s response to the Haitian earthquake while calling for long-term anti-poverty aid.

“I write to express our gratitude for the strong, determined response of the U.S. Government to the recent earthquake in Haiti and to highlight Haiti’s long-term needs for recovery, poverty-reduction and development,” said Bishop Hubbard in a January 26 letter. “Our Conference recommends that the U.S. government adopt a coherent strategy for long-term sustainable development that coordinates different U.S. government agencies in a comprehensive approach, engaging other groups with expertise and experience with Haiti.”

This comprehensive approach, in Bishop Hubbard’s judgment, includes the expansion of trade preferences, debt cancellation, “long-term funding for reconstruction and poverty reduction,” and “dependable flows of international assistance that target all sectors of Haiti’s needs, including infrastructure, health care, education, psycho-social support, law enforcement, judiciary, and economic and agricultural development.”

In a reference to Haiti’s notoriously corrupt political culture-- Haiti was recently ranked one of the world’s most corrupt nations-- Bishop Hubbard added that “encouraging local government and institutional transparency and accountability [is] essential to ensure that funds are used for the benefit of the people and are not diverted for other purposes.”

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  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Jan. 29, 2010 8:42 PM ET USA

    "Government... government... government" -- is there nothing it can't do? Hubbard's letter makes no reference to voluntary private money and private volunteers in Haiti now. Haiti's ability to function as a country was impaired before the earthquake but Haiti needs more than money if it ever wants to end its dependence on foreign aid. The US and its neighbors protect civil rights and property rights better and allow small business to start and thrive: political and economic reform, not cash.

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Jan. 29, 2010 5:40 PM ET USA

    Another great idea from Bishop Hubbard! Let's make his wish come true by first taxing the Church for his ideas of Catholic charity.

  • Posted by: JR - Jan. 29, 2010 1:51 PM ET USA

    When it comes to leftist bureaucracies like the USCCB, the answer is always to take more money from taxpayers and spend it. Of course, they don't talk about taking the money. They just agitate for more programs that the public is compelled to finance. It never occurs to liberal bubbleheads that Jesus told us personally and individually to give to the poor... from our own pockets. For them, it's not that THEY need to be more generous, it's that everyone else needs to be.

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