Very welcome news from the Government on its commitment to increase its cooperation with Christian and other faith groups in delivering international development. The following comes from today’s press release from the Department for International Development (DFID):
Faith groups and Government seal partnership on aid
For the first time the British government and all faith communities – led by the Church of England – will work with a real sense of joint purpose in the field of overseas aid, Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, said.
Groups from across the faith spectrum have been brought together to sign up to new principles for collaborating with the UK government on aid, including an agreement to work in three priority countries.
The Faith Partnership Principles paper marks a new era of understanding and cooperation between Government and faith groups on international development. Faith groups are crucial to development. They offer services and support to poor people that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access or afford. They also give valuable and trusted advice to their communities. In some African countries 70% of health services are provided by faith groups.
Andrew Mitchell said:
“Faith plays a vital role in development. Faith groups are often the first place poor people turn in times of need. They are a source of compassion, generosity and succour to many in the developing world.
“I am proud to be launching the Faith Partnership Principles paper today. This new partnership will see closer working and understanding between DFID and groups from across the spectrum of faiths, working towards the same common purpose.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, said:
“I welcome the launch by the Department for International Development of its Faith Partnership Principles paper and look forward to reviewing its implementation. The distinctive contribution of faith-based organisations and faith communities in the humanitarian and development arena is increasingly recognised. I believe that there is great potential in promoting mutual understanding, critical engagement and collaborative action between governments, civil society and faith communities in promoting global justice and sustainable development.”
The Christian organisations that the DFID will initially partner with are CAFOD, Christian Aid, Church of England, Lambeth Palace, Progressio, Tearfund, Volunteer Missionary Movement and World Vision.