Buenos Aires (Agenzia Fides) - Fourteen Argentine Bishops from the province of Buenos Aires met the Governor of Buenos Aires, Maria Eugenia Vidal, on September 21, at the headquarters of the provincial government, in the federal capital. The theme of the meeting was that of food assistance, especially in areas that have the greatest need. According to information published by the Episcopal Conference, sent to Agenzia Fides, the meeting was also attended by Santiago López Medrano, Minister of Social Development, and Gabriel Sánchez Zinny, Director General of Culture and Education, together with the Minister of Health and social development, Carolina Stanley.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Governor and the Minister expressed their decision to make best use of all resources for food assistance, particularly in the poorest areas of the province. The Governor has also pledged to support the continuity of the works that are underway and the Provincial Bank loan programs for small and average-sized businesses.
The Bishops present were the Ordinaries and Auxiliaries of the following ecclesiastical circumscriptions: San Isidro, Bahía Blanca, La Plata, Merlo-Moreno, Avellaneda-Lanús; Azul; Morón; San Justo; Gregorio de Laferrere; Nueve de Julio; San Martín.
The Bishops expressed their great concern for the socio-economic situation of the province and of the whole country, for the reduction of real wages and for the dismissal of workers from different sectors, expressing their commitment to accompany those who suffer in these situations. They then reiterated to the Governor and to the authorities present, their commitment to continue to work, through the diocesan Caritas, focusing on the work that takes place daily with those living in poverty. The Bishops also thanked the Governor for the invitation, in the context of a dialogue respectful of the autonomy of the Church and of the state, with the aim of fostering cooperation.
According to the latest report released by the Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA), in Argentina there are at least 13.5 million poor people, equal to 31.4% of the approximately 43 million inhabitants of the country. A few days ago, on 12 September, a major protest demonstration paralyzed Buenos Aires (see Fides, 13/9/2018) with thousands of people who took to the streets to ask the government to stop the increase in prices of basic household products and to declare food emergency. On Friday 7 September, a meeting was held at the initiative of the Minister of Health and Social Development with Caritas authorities to analyze the situation and evaluate possible collaborative initiatives. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 24/9/2018)