Church in Italy Allocates Aid to Iraqis

ROME, APRIL 15, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Italian episcopate allocated 2 million euros ($2.15 million) for immediate humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people as the war winds down.

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In a statement published today, the presidency of the Italian bishops’ conference explained that the amount comes from the 0.8% tax on the Income of Physical Persons, a quota that Italians may allocate to the Catholic Church.

The Committee for Charitable Interventions in the Third World will give the funds to the Iraqi episcopal conference.

The priorities and method of assistance will be established according to the Iraqis’ needs and in cooperation with Caritas and other organizations working in the country.

The episcopal statement says «immediate and concrete interventions, which give back confidence and hope to the peoples — oppressed for a long time by the dictatorship and now hit by the devastating consequences of the war — constitute the best guarantee and the most effective premise for the development of a political and social system capable of fostering growth in liberty, justice and solidarity in full respect of human rights.»

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