AMERICA/UNITED STATES - Cardinal Tobin's statement on the proposed funding cutoff for the Northern Triangle

Friday, 5 April 2019

Newark (Agenzia Fides) - "It is with a profound sense of sadness that I have read about the proposed cutoff of humanitarian aid to the Northern Triangle countries of Central America. I continue to be amazed that some still do not understand what forces people to leave their home country. Most are escaping extreme violence and poverty. The decision to leave one’s home does not come easily or without sacrifice": this is how the statement of Redemptorist Cardinal Joseph William Tobin, Archbishop of Newark begins, also sent to Fides.
President Trump, in his recent statement, referring to the impossibility of addressing the issue of emigration, announced plans to cut aid to three Central American countries, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, known as the Northern Triangle. The paradox pointed out by the critics is that the cuts refer to programs aimed at preventing violence, reducing extreme poverty and hunger and strengthening the judicial system. The same problems that drive residents of those countries to leave their homes to seek a more stable future in other places. The administration offered few details about the extent of this cut, even though the State Department reported that it is about $450 million.
"Who would think that the best way to solve the problem of extreme poverty is to cut off humanitarian aid? I strongly urge our government to work with the leaders of the countries of the Northern Triangle to see how best to address the poverty and violence that causes men, women and children to leaves their homes in such great numbers". "When we help the poor among us, we serve God himself. Let us remember the words of Jesus, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me” (Mt 25:45). (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 5/5/2019)