VATICAN CITY, JULY 16, 2010 (Zenit.org).- A papal foundation that aids the development of the poorest populations in Latin America and the Caribbean has 230 proposals to consider when it meets next week in the Dominican Republic.
The administrative council of the the Populorum Progressio Foundation will consider which of the proposals most merit funding.
Last year meeting in Germany, they also had 230 requests and were able to accept 193 of them, for a total value in aid of $2.1 million.
The foundation was established in conjunction with the celebrations for the fifth centenary of the evangelization of the American continent. It aims at the advancement of the most marginalized populations in Latin American and Caribbean societies. Much of its work is with indigenous or African-American communities.
Pope John Paul II established the foundation, naming it after Paul VI’s 1967 social encyclical.
The largest number of requests this year come from Brazil (57) and Colombia (41), but some 20 countries have made project proposals. Aid can go to projects ranging from agriculture to education to health care.
The administrative council is made up of seven members: six are bishops of Latin American countries and one representative comes from the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.
Monsignor Giovanni Battista Gandolfo, representing the Italian bishops’ conference, will also attend the meeting. The Italian bishops are the principal supporters of the foundation.