Financial Panic Must Not Derail Anti-Poverty Plans Say Faith Leaders

September 29, 2008

Author: Chris Herlinger

Source: Ecumenical News International

The global financial crisis should not derail progress that has been made on fighting poverty worldwide, religious leaders have said, adding that the current financial market turmoil makes attempts to tackle deprivation all the more urgent.

"When the powers that be declare there is an emergency, there is mobilisation," said the Rev. David Beckmann, president of the Washington-based anti-hunger group Bread for the World, prior to a 25 September United Nations gathering in New York to discuss anti-poverty targets for 2015, known as the Millennium Development Goals.

In an interview with Ecumenical News International, Beckmann noted that as he spoke the U.S. Congress was debating a financial bailout for Wall Street financial institutions of nearly US$700 billion, while "religious communities have been working with pennies for decades" against hunger and poverty.