Faith groups recognised for fighting poverty


Communal organisations have welcomed a report from the Department for International Development on the role of faith groups in the fight against global poverty.

The document, “Faith Partnership Principles”, was launched at Lambeth Palace by Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams and International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell.

World Jewish Relief head of international programmes and partnerships Stacey Swimer was on the working party that produced the document. She said it was a positive initiative which recognised the contribution of religious groups to international development. “What is important is what comes next — what actions come out of the principles paper.”

Although WJR concentrates mainly on helping Jewish communities, it has been involved more widely in countries such as Haiti, Pakistan and Kenya.

Also present was Board of Deputies senior vice-president Laura Marks, who said: “While this is something that we as Jews have done for a long time via our exemplary charities such as WJR and Tzedek, it reminds us again of the foundational call of Judaism to social justice, tzedakah and the care of others.”

In the document, Mr Mitchell noted that governmental humanitarian relief “will never be enough. For lasting change, states must fully engage with a range of civil society organisations.”

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