20 Church entities call for solidarity towards the most vulnerable

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Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

20 Church entities have called on authorities to take further concrete measures to ensure that people living in poverty are not left without the basic necessities for a dignified life.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the entities stated that they are extremely concerned about the impact that the coronavirus outbreak will have on the most vulnerable people.

They said that the economic fall‑out will surely affect the poorest and the most marginalised in society.

Whilst they appreciate that the government has put in place some support services for vulnerable individuals, like the support line and food delivery for the elderly who are unable to go shopping such measures alone will not be sufficient to ensure that all are able to live with dignity during the coming months.

They are suggesting that essential steps are taken to provide financial and material support to all who cannot afford to pay for shelter, food or medicine and entitlement to this support and to basic services, such as medical care, should be based on need and not on other criteria, such as immigration status.

“Most earn little more than the minimum wage, which is barely enough to cover rent, food and water and electricity bills. Few will have any money put aside to carry them through a period of unemployment lasting months, or possibly longer” – explained the entities.

They said that their work brings them in contact with people for whom survival is a struggle. They deal with people suffering from mental illness, disability, people struggling with addiction, ex‑prisoners, survivors of domestic violence, refugees, migrant workers, or large families having one single income.

The 20 entities said that they believe policymakers should echo the message of hope, by putting people at the centre and prioritising the needs of the most vulnerable. From their end they said they will support the authorities to implement these services.

In their statement, they referred to the words of St John Paul II on solidarity “is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say to the good of all and of each individual because we are all really responsible for all.” (Solicitudo Rei Socialis, 38)

The Chruch entities urging the government to take measures aimed at the most vulnerable are:

  • Commission for Peace and Justice
  • Diakonia Commission
  • Council for the Religious Major Superiors (KSMR)
  • Church Homes for the Elderly
  • Caritas Malta
  • Dar Merħba Bik Foundation
  • Dar Hosea
  • Dar tal‑Providenza
  • Fondazzjoni Sebħ
  • Fondazzjoni ‘Paċi u Ġid’
  • Jesuit Refugee Service (Malta)
  • Peace Lab
  • Malta Emigrants Commission
  • Millenium Chapel
  • Paulo Freire Institute 
  • Salesjani Dar Osanna Pia
  • Segretarjat Assistenza Soċjali​ Azzjoni Kattolika Maltija (SAS)
  • Society of St Vincent de Paul – Malta
  • St Jeanne Antide Foundation
  • Youth Alive Foundation

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