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Lietuvos reformacijos istorijos ir kultūros draugija
World Communion of Reformed Churches. News Release
Monday, 20 September 2010 09:58
World Communion of Reformed Churches
News Release
20 September 2010

Same level of assistance needed for world's poor as for banks, says church leader

The same commitment to overcoming global poverty is needed as that which was generated in response to the crisis in the banking sector, a senior church official has told the head of the Swiss delegation to the UN summit meeting on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) underway in New York this week.

Setri Nyomi, general secretary of the Geneva-based World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC), told Switzerland's Foreign Minister, Micheline Calmy-Rey, that the resources found in 2008 to address the financial crisis surpassed what many thought was possible at the time.


"We need that same level of commitment from nations like Switzerland if we are to meet the Millennium Development Goals," Nyomi told Calmy-Rey. "How could it be that there is money for a safety net for the financial crisis but not for the food crisis?"


Nyomi, who is originally from Ghana, made his comments during discussions between African church leaders and Swiss authorities on 8 September in Bern, the country's capital. The encounters were organized by two Swiss-based non-governmental organizations, Bread for All and the Lenten Campaign. The objective was for African voices to be heard prior to the UN High-Level Plenary Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals (20-22 September).

In his presentation to Calmy-Rey and representatives of the Swiss Department for Development Cooperation, Nyomi stressed that Africans are playing an active role in responding to the needs of their continent.

"Justice demands that Africa is not simply seen as a passive recipient of donor aid. Churches and other faith-based organizations are also challenging our own people," he said.

"In Africa where there are churches in every corner of most communities, we are well-placed to walk alongside those who have been suffering," Nyomi notes.

"Organizations such as the WCRC stand ready to work with all who are serious about achieving the MDGs objectives of meeting the food, education and health needs of the poorest and most vulnerable people."

Acknowledging that monitoring is needed to ensure responsible use of financial aid, Nyomi says Africans must do their part.

"Unless caring people in every sector make a clear commitment to economic justice and climate justice, achieving the MDGs by 2015 will be elusive," says Nyomi.