VATICAN CITY, JULY 15, 2011 (Zenit.org).- A papal foundation that aids the development of the poorest populations in Latin America and the Caribbean has 216 proposals to consider when it meets next week in Belem do Para, Brazil.
The projects presented this year involve 19 countries and a total value of almost $3 million. The administrative council of the the Populorum Progressio Foundation will consider which of the proposals most merit funding.
Last year the group met in the Dominican Republic for its annual evaluation of proposals and available funds.
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.
Blessed John Paul II established the foundation, naming it after Paul VI’s 1967 social encyclical.
This year, “interest will focus particularly on indigenous peoples,” a statement reported, “and on the poorest strata of the population. Special attention will also be given to the pastoral guidelines that emerged from the 5th General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean, guidelines which the foundation has already sought to put into effect.”
The administrative council is comprised of six bishops of Latin American countries and a representative of Cor Unum, as well as the president of the foundation who is also president of Cor Unum. The Italian bishops are the principal supporters of the foundation.
The greatest number of proposals have come this year from Colombia (50), Brazil (43) and Peru (23).