Yaounde (Fides Service) - Christians in Africa are stepping up efforts to provide solidarity in emergencies. In fact, during a recent meeting of Catholic aid agencies in Yaounde, Cameroon 16-20 February, national Caritas offices decided to open an African Regional Solidarity Fund FOSARCA.
In an interview with the Congolese Catholic news agency DIA, Bruno Miteyo, co-ordinator Caritas ACEAVC zone (Association of Bishops’ Conferences in Central Africa) and adjunct director of Caritas Democratic Congo, said the fund already exists. Various national Caritas offices, such as Caritas Benin have already made their contribution. The Bishops of Mauritius have asked the local Caritas to see that each projects financed includes a percentage to go to FOSARCA. The local Church in Rwanda has started an awareness campaign and collection of funds in every diocese: part of these collections will go to FOSARCA. The Bishops in Democratic Congo have announced their adhesion to the Fund and they have instructed the national Caritas office to ask diocesan offices to make their contribution.
The idea of creating a regional solidarity fund emerged during the 5th all-Africa meeting in Kigali, 29 September to 4 October 2002. The objective is to guarantee speedy assistance in times of natural calamities and other crises.
During the recent ACEAC meeting in Yaounde, the Caritas national offices of Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Congo identified three priorities: build peace, assist victims of violence, fight the diffusion of AIDS. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 3/2/2004, righe 26 parole 309)