AFRICA/ETHIOPIA - Poverty and hunger, the consequences of an unjust economic system

Friday, 27 June 2014

Wukro (Agenzia Fides) - Poverty in Africa is the result of a global economy based on injustice. Chronic hunger seems a completely normal phenomenon. "No one can imagine the horror of the consequences of poverty", says Father Ángel Olaran, of the White Fathers, who has been in Tanzania for twenty years and for the same number of years in one of the poorest regions of Ethiopia where people die of hunger. He arrived in Wukro, a small town in the northeast of the country, in 1994, with the task of opening a school of agricultural training, his activities immediately spread to all sectors of local life. Over the years, in fact, his commitment to the Mission of Saint Mary helped to improve the social and environmental well being in this area of Tigray, thanks to the authorities and several Spanish NGOs.
Father Olaran initiated numerous projects which include: a center for malnourished children, microcredit initiatives to help prostitutes find a job, economic aid to the elderly and disabled persons, training of young people in different sectors, support to small cooperatives and plans to re-forestation and irrigation.
However, the missionary does not feel "satisfied" with what he has been done so far because "humanitarian aid is only a palliative to the suffering of those who pay the consequences of a world economy based on unequal distribution of wealth, which means that the rich get richer and the poor poorer". "Helping those who survive poverty helps us too - says Father Angel - because it allows us to share something and learn about others". He concludes by saying that "when I talk to women forced into prostitution because of hunger, I always think that we all owe them a great deal of respect". (AP) (Agenzia Fides 27/06/2014)