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Cardinal Turkson: We can't fight pandemic if we are fighting each other

Since the start of the pandemic, the Vatican has supported countries where the coronavirus has caused more damage. To do this, the pope created the Vatican COVID-19 Commission, which depends on the Dicastery for Integral Human Development.

The dicastery's prefect laments that while large sums of money are being put toward military spending, the victims of conflicts are being disproportionately affected by the crisis. That's why the number of cries for help has been on the rise in countries like Yemen.

Prefect, Dicastery for Integral Human Development
“Making aid reach a conflicted area is always a challenge, and it's not only Yemen. It's in several other places: in Brazil and Venezuela, and several other countries where the need [from] Covid invites us to intervene. But intervention itself is rendered difficult by the situation of conflict.”

The cardinal celebrated the United Nations Security Council's resolution for a global ceasefire. He says “we can’t fight the pandemic if we are fighting, or preparing to fight, each other.”

Prefect, Dicastery for Integral Human Development
“Concretely, in the situation for restoring peace, the Church can help in different ways. For example, our dicastery supports entities in local churches, like Peace Commissions and Caritas Internationalis.”

The cardinal says that without security, responses to the pandemic can't be complete. He says that without arms control, guaranteeing security is impossible. This is a key question facing the commission.

Vatican COVID-19 Commission
“We've analyzed the question of violence in general, from domestic violence to violence between countries. We've also looked at questions related to nuclear stability.”

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has detected a rise in military spending. In 2019 alone, global military spending was $1.9 billion. That's 300 times the World Health Organization's budget.

Daniel Díaz Vizzi

Translation: CT