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U.N. Food Agencies Welcome Pope Francis’s Commitment To Helping Poor, Hungry

“United Nations officials [on Tuesday] welcomed Pope Francis’ public commitment to support those who live in poverty and suffer from hunger, and expressed their readiness to work with the new leader of the Catholic Church on these issues,” the U.N. News Centre reports (3/19). “Striking a tone of radical humility that…

Religion, Religious Leaders Have Been Central To Health, Development Improvements In Africa

“After decades of doom-and-gloom news about AIDS in Africa, optimism is finally in the air,” Jenny Trinitapoli, an assistant professor of sociology, demography, and religious studies at Penn State University, and Alexander Weinreb, an associate professor in the department of sociology and a research associate at the Population Research Center…

Pope Francis’s Pledge To Poor Can Translate Into Social Action

Writing in a SciDev.Net feature article, journalist Imogen Mathers examines what the election of the new pope will mean for the development sector. “With the sector gearing up for World Health Day this weekend (7 April), debates continue about what changes — if any — Pope Francis I will make…

Also In Global Health News: WHO Flu Response; Sanitation In Mozambique; Interfaith HIV/AIDS Summit; HIV/AIDS In Uganda; South African Hospital Renovations; HIV Vaccine Development

Chan Defends WHO’s Response To H1N1 On Tuesday, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan defended her agency’s response to the H1N1 flu pandemic saying, “I personally do not believe that WHO exaggerated the threat,” and that “[a] new disease is, by definition, poorly understood as it emerges,” Reuters reports. Chan continued, “Had…

Religious Leaders Call For Heads Of Government To Renew Efforts To Meet MDGs

“With fewer than 1,000 days left to meet the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals [MDGs], religious leaders from the G8 countries are pushing heads of government to renew their efforts to meet the anti-poverty benchmarks by 2015,” the Washington Post reports. “In an April 5 letter to the Financial Times,…

Opinion Pieces Address U.N. CSW Declaration

The U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) on Friday adopted a declaration urging an end to violence against women and girls, despite pushback from some conservative Muslim countries and the Vatican during negotiations. The following is a summary of two opinion pieces addressing the document. Jill Filipovic, The Guardian’s “Comment…

Congress Must Prioritize Funding For International Assistance Programs

“For many people around the world, sequestration is literally a life-or-death issue. Its impact may be most deeply felt by those living in developing nations,” Rev. Derrick Boykin, associate for African-American leadership outreach at Bread for the World, writes in the Huffington Post’s “Black Voices” blog. “Millions of people around…

Including Evangelical Christians In U.S. Foreign Aid Discussion

“Washington is in an era of budget-cutting, so we frequently hear calls to shrink or eliminate U.S. foreign-assistance programs,” which is why “several religious groups … are highlighting how these programs reduce global poverty and hunger, saving millions of lives,” Richard Stearns, president of World Vision USA, writes in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece. However, he says “evangelical Christians [are] largely absent from this religious coalition” and notes that “a Pew survey earlier this year found that 56 percent of evangelicals think ‘aid to the world’s poor’ should be the first thing cut from the federal budget.”

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