International Community Must Address Root Causes Of Inequality While Addressing Short-Term Needs Of Most Vulnerable, Catholic Sister Writes In Opinion Piece

Devex: Opinion: What can the G-20 learn from Pope Francis’ vision for a post-coronavirus world?
Sister Patricia Murray, executive secretary of the International Union of Superiors General

“…Communities in low- and middle-income countries around the world are reporting growing evidence of increases in vulnerability to human trafficking and in hunger. … As COVID-19 evolved from a public health crisis to an economic one, sisters around the world brought the issue of hunger to the attention of international donors — which in turn enabled them to provide direct relief to communities. However, the long-term challenge lies in addressing the root causes of inequality, which is born out of a sick and profoundly unequal global economy. …  Ever since the first major mission statement of his papacy in 2013, the pope has consistently rejected ‘trickle-down’ economic theory, saying it simply doesn’t achieve what it claims. … The meeting of G-20 governments in November may now be our best bet for collective action, but the pandemic response by the group of rich and developing nations has so far done nothing but underwhelm. While we wait for governments to act, there is a huge job to do in continuing to address the short-term needs of the most vulnerable. For this, the international response to COVID-19 needs to be more agile and more sensitive to local communities, with resources directed to those most in need. Human trafficking and hunger are absolutely key issues, though not the only ones. … [T]he world needs to stop, pay attention to the reality of the situation, and come together to act. Our simple request is that those in power stop for a moment to listen to the women on the front line” (10/21).

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