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Rich countries obliged to help beat poverty

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Developed countries have a moral obligation to offer concrete help in eliminating poverty in the world, especially in Africa, Pope Benedict XVI said.

While the governments of poorer countries have a responsibility to fight corruption and poverty on their home turf, “the active involvement of international partners is indispensable”, he said in a letter dated December 16, 2006, and addressed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Helping poorer nations out of the grinding cycle of poverty and debt “is a grave and unconditional moral responsibility” that cannot be considered an option or be “postponed in the face of pressing national concerns”, he wrote.

The Vatican released the Pope’s letter and the German leader’s reply on April 23, just weeks before the start of the summit of the Group of Eight industrialised nations to be held from June 6-8 in Germany.

The German-born Pope said Germany had “a unique possibility” to lead the way in the fight against poverty as it would be heading two powerful international bodies at the same time when it took on the presidencies of the Group of Eight nations and the European Union in 2007.

(Copyright Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.)

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