VATICAN CITY, JUL 13, 2005 (VIS) - The administrative council of the "Populorum Progressio" Foundation will hold its annual meeting in Lima, Peru, from July 20 to 24. The foundation was established in 1992 by John Paul II to promote integral development among the poor indigenous mixed race and Afro-American rural communities of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The meeting will be attended by Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, president of Populorum Progressio and of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", of which the foundation is part. This year, there are some 200 projects awaiting approval, for a total value of around two million dollars. The areas involved include education (60%), agriculture (20%) and small business development (20%).
The priority of education in development is the most important element of the Church's commitment in these countries, says a Cor Unum communique made public today. Populorum Progressio is financed mainly by the Italian Episcopal Conference, although private donors from other countries also participate. On the administrative council, it is prelates from countries with the largest indigenous mixed race and Afro-American communities who decide how to use the funds.
Apart from Archbishop Cordes and six representatives from the Latin American episcopate, the meeting will also be attended Fr. Segundo Tejado Munoz, an official of Cor Unum, and Msgr. Piergiuseppe Vacchelli, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference's committee for charitable interventions in favor of the Third World.
After Haiti, Peru is the Latin American country with the lowest levels of education. It also suffers the serious problem of the abandonment of rural areas and the exodus of the population to the cities, which leads to the creation of shanty towns with very harsh living conditions.
CON-CU/POPULORUM PROGRESSIO/CORDES VIS 20050713 (290)