Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)
High Level Pledging Event
"A Fund for All, By All"
UN Headquarters, 8 December 2020
I welcome this opportunity to address all those who areparticipating in today’s High-Level Pledging Event.
Given the ever more dramatic humanitarian situation across the world, the Holy See would like to add its voice in support of all those who, by their presence here today and their generous financial assistance, manifest the solidarity of the international community for the weakest and most vulnerable members of our human family, to ensure that no one is left behind. Sadly, for so many of our brothers and sisters, the pandemic has added yet another level of distress.
Pope Francis noted in his address to the Seventy-Fifth Session of the UN General Assembly in September, “We never emerge from a crisis just as we were. We come out either better or worse.” While getting back on track is not impossible, it is not inevitable either. To come out better depends on the decisions we are making now.
From the outset of the pandemic, Pope Francis has appealed for all of us to come together and act together. Earlier this year, in fact, he established the Vatican’s COVID-19 task force, the aim of which is to translate and concretize the Pope’s pastoral concern for those most affected, and offer an innovative and well-coordinated response to this crisis. Through its five working groups, the task force has been acting with sensitivity to specific local needs, avoiding imposed solutions or a one-size-fits-all approach. Particular attention has been given to those in already desperate situations caused by conflict, forced displacement, climate change or scarce resources, which the pandemic has only made more precarious.
Institutions of the Catholic Church on the ground, from the schools run by religious sisters and brothers to the hospitals, dispensaries and shelters funded by the charitable donations of Catholics across the world, have all been actively caring for those most affected by the pandemic. Together with the generosity of so many others, these concrete works of sacrifice for others show forth the solidarity the world so desperately needs at this time. The ongoing global challenge and its collateral crises affecting so many members of the human family urge us to set aside indifference and what might be termed “appeal fatigue” and respond with even greater solidarity.
I thank you, Mr. President.