Cardinal Bernard Law
Archbishop of Boston
Chairman, Committee on International Policy
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
July 19, 2001
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops welcomes President Bush's initiative on global poverty alleviation, announced in remarks to the World Bank earlier this week. The initiative is impressive both in tone and direction. We welcome in particular the proposed 20% increase in bilateral funding for education assistance programs, and the proposal to have up to 50% of funds provided by development banks to the poorest countries given in the form of grants rather than loans. We look forward to working with the administration and other interested parties on the specifics of implementing the proposals and the necessary investments to bring them about. We commend the President for recognizing the moral challenge of Pope John Paul II to place the freedom of the market in the service of human freedom. Effective implementation of the President's proposals, coupled with increased investment in development assistance, debt relief, and fair and just trade policy, can make a key difference in global efforts to overcome widespread poverty in a world where too many still lack the essentials of human dignity.