Vatican's development arm will meet to consider Latin American projects

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The Populorum Progressio Foundation will meet in Brazil from July 19 to July 22 to discuss financing of projects that support Latin America’s poorest.

Leaders of Populorum Progressio announced in a July 15 communique that the meeting would focus on indigenous peoples. They expressed hope that projects would be “forthcoming from countries with indigenous communities living in difficult situations of marginalization, on the outskirts of large cities or in particularly isolated and inaccessible areas.”

The Vatican-sponsored development agency says it is holding the meeting to “seek a better understanding” of the social, political and religious realities of Latin American counties in order to promote development in the region.

At the meeting, bishops from 19 Latin American countries will present projects to be considered for funding, in areas such as production, communal infrastructure, education, health and construction.

Over 200 projects have already been presented this year, totaling over $2 million.

During their deliberations, foundation leaders will give “special attention” to the implementation of guidelines released in 2007 during the Fifth General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean, which the foundation “has already sought to put into effect.”

The Populorum Progressio Foundation is part of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” and was founded in 1992. The foundation receives most of its support from the Italian Episcopal Conference’s committee for charitable initiatives in favor of the Third World.

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