VATICAN - Cardinal Martino purchases on behalf Pope Benedict XVI first International Financing Facility for Immunisation bond an initiative guaranteed by various governments to save the life of millions of people
Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - Following a project presented by UK chancellor Gordon Brown during a Meeting on “Poverty and globalisation: funding development” organised by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace (July 2004), today in London the first bonds of the IFFIm (International Financing Facility for Immunisation) are on sale and the first will be purchased on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI by Cardinal Renato R. Martino, president of the Council which has supported the initiative from the start.
Under the "international finance facility", donor countries and backers make long-term financial commitments which are used as collateral for bonds, the sale of which allows aid to be brought forward and children to be vaccinated much sooner.
According a statement issued by the Council for Justice and Peace with the gesture the Pope intends to offer full support to the initiative About 2.5 million children under the age of five die from diseases which are, or soon will be, preventable by vaccination - a child every 12 seconds. Some children are protected against some but not all illnesses. In 72 countries the lives of 10 million people including 5 million children will be saved, by 2015.
While it commits governments IFFIm, is quite separate from ODA (Official Development Assistance), which gives 0,7 per cent of the GNP promised solemnly 36 years ago to aid development. While it denounces scarce attention, (governments who have maintained the promise are few) it constitutes a call to keep promises, - as the Holy Father has often warned - to avoid the explosion of the “anger of the poor”, too many Lazarus collecting the crumbs falling from the rich people’s tables. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 7/11/2006; Righe 27; Parole 346)
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