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Opinions: U.S. Foreign Aid Effectiveness; Faith-Based Groups’ Work Abroad

Foreign Aid Is A Smart Investment Although “foreign assistance is a very small proportion of the overall budget, its effectiveness is both measurable and priceless,” Sheila Nix, the executive director of ONE, writes in a Roll Call opinion piece. “These investments are helping shape a world where no one dies…

Religious Leaders Vow To Fight HIV/AIDS Stigma, Discrimination

A two-day gathering in The Hague of religious leaders to discuss the role people of faith can play in the fight against HIV/AIDS concluded Tuesday with a pledge to prevent discrimination against those living with the disease, the Associated Press reports.

AP Reports On ‘Significant’ Clarification Of Pope’s Comments On Condoms To Prevent HIV

The Associated Press/Washington Post reports that after questions arose about Pope Benedict XVI’s comments on the use of condoms to prevent HIV, which one translation “implied that he was referring primarily to homosexual sex, when condoms aren’t being used as a form of contraception,” Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi “told reporters Tuesday that he asked the pope whether he intended his comments to only apply to male prostitutes. Benedict replied that it really didn’t matter, that the important thing was the person in question took into consideration the life of the other, Lombardi said.”

Philippines Government Must Support Reproductive Health Law

“Women in the Philippines have lacked autonomy over their bodies for decades. The overwhelming political power of the country’s Catholic church leaders — and the government’s acquiescence to many of their demands — has resulted in reproductive health care restrictions so severe they amount to human rights violations,” Melissa Upreti,…

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…

Congress Should Continue Bipartisan Support For WASH Programs

“Almost 800 million people have no safe drinking water and an astounding 2.5 billion people lack basic sanitation worldwide. But unlike so many complex problems, sustainable solutions to the global water crisis really are within our reach. We have the technology. We need the leadership,” Rabbi Jack Bemporad, director of…