As the rich and powerful gather for the annual World Economic Forum at Davos the Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis says the poor must not be forgotten in the current economic crisis.[display_podcast] This podcast made available from Vatican Radio


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Poor must not be forgotten at World Economic Forum in Davos

26 January 2009

Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Lesley-Anne Knight will be attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland with a message that the poor must not be forgotten in the current economic crisis.

World leaders and policymakers will gather in record numbers 28 January to 1 February at the annual Davos forum to discuss how to overcome the worst global economic crisis in 80 years.

Caritas Internationalis is the worldwide confederation of 162 national Catholic charities working on humanitarian relief, development, and peace-building.

Caritas Internationalis Secretary-General Lesley-Anne Knight said, “It is appalling that in 2009 we still have such suffering in the world as a result of poverty. The international community must make a much greater effort to tackle this scandal.

“The current global economic crisis will dominate discussions at Davos. I want to ensure that issues such as poverty and the major global humanitarian crises we face today do not totally disappear from the agenda.

“I am concerned that the Millennium Development Goals, the series of UN anti-poverty targets for 2015, will be shelved for the duration of the economic recession and want to point out that ending global poverty is not a luxury but a duty. “Climate Change is another important issue that we will be discussing at Davos and I shall want to ensure that the interests of the poor – who are those most affected by climate change – are given a high priority.

“Caritas wants to be at Davos because changing the global systems that keep poor people poor means engaging with policy makers, many of whom will be at the World Economic Forum.

The Caritas Internationalis Secretary General will be a panelist on a discussion of values, vision and leadership. Meanwhile, one hundred and fifty Caritas representatives from 14 countries will be at the World Social Forum in Belem, Brazil. The WSF offers civil society representatives and NGOs a global platform for debate and the exchange of ideas regarding the social challenges facing a globalised world.

For more information please contact Patrick Nicholson on +39 334 359 0700 or


Caritas is a global movement working in solidarity for a fairer world, inspired by the example of Christian faith and Catholic Social Teaching. It is unacceptable that millions of people are suffering through dehumanising poverty and social injustice and we want change.

The 162 national Caritas members make the biggest network of Catholic charities in the world devoted to reducing poverty and campaigning for social justice.

Mostly our members have Caritas in their names, but not always. Were a bottom up family and our member identities reflect their different histories.

Think CRS, CAFOD, SCIAF, Cordaid, Trocaire, Secours Catholique, CADEV, and Karina. All are Caritas and thats only a start.