Press Release by the
Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development
Meeting of the Council of Administration of the John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel (Dakar, Senegal, 21-25 February 2017)
From 21 to 25 February, the annual meeting of the Council of Administration of the John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel will take place in Dakar, Senegal. From its inception in 1984 by St. John Paul II, the Foundation was entrusted to the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum.” It has now been entrusted to the Dicastery for Promoting Human Integral Development, that has absorbed the duties of Cor Unum. The Council of Administration meeting will be attended by the Delegate Secretary of the Dicastery, Msgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, in his role as Holy See Observer. The Apostolic Nuncio in Senegal, Archbishop Michael Wallace Banach, is also scheduled to visit. During the meeting, the Board is called to examine the projects awaiting funding. A total of 43 projects in six countries were funded in 2016, for an estimated total of around $ 550,000.
The members of the Council of Administration are H.E. Msgr. Sanou Lucas Kalfa, Bishop of Banfora (Burkina Faso), President of the Council of Administration; H.E. Msgr. Mamba Paul Abel, Bishop of Ziguinchor (Senegal), Vice-president; H.E. Msgr. Happe Martin Albert, Bishop of Nuakchott (Mauritania), Treasurer; H.E. Msgr. Ouédraogo Ambroise, Bishop of Maradi (Niger); H.E. Msgr. Ildo Fortes, Bishop of Mindelo (Cape Verde); H.E. Msgr. Djitangar Edmond, Archbishop of N’Djamena (Chad); H.E. Msgr. Ellison Robert Patrick, Bishop of Banjul (Gambia); H.E. Msgr. Pedro Carlos Zilli, Bishop of Bafata (Guinea Bissau); and H.E. Msgr. Traoré Augustin, Bishop of Segou (Mali).
With the collaboration of the Italian Episcopal Conference and the Episcopal Conference of Germany, as well as the local Church and community, the Foundation implements - on behalf of the Holy Father and in favor of communities of the Foundation’s member countries (Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Chad) - projects to fight desertification, activities in the environmental field, work for the management and development of agricultural units, for water pumps, for the improvement of drinking water and for renewable energy. The Foundation is also engaged in the training of specialized technical personnel to facilitate the possibility for work at the service of one’s own country. In addition, over the years it has also been able to favor interreligious dialogue. Indeed, the majority of beneficiaries are of the Muslim faith.
The latest updated data of the Human Development Index(which measures the level of human development for each country of the international community) show that among the 20 least developed countries on the list, 19 are in Africa. Seven of these are in the Sahel area, indicating it as one of the poorest regions on the earth. Among the the most serious problems are the frequent food crises and the depletion of natural resources, especially water. Additionally, today it is one of the main areas used for training camps of terrorist groups, as well as for promoting violence against the population.
Until 2015, the projects funded by the John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel numbered around 3,200 for a total of over $37 million allocated. Among the major supporters of the Foundation are the Italian Episcopal Conference and the German Episcopal Conference.
For information please contact the Press and Communications Office of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development: Roberto Paglialonga (firstname.lastname@example.org), Pamela Fabiano (email@example.com), Claudia di Lorenzi (firstname.lastname@example.org ).