WASHINGTON, D.C. – Global humanitarian agency Church World Service today joined communities of faith around the world to call for a bolder commitment to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, as part of the World Bank’s Moral and Spiritual Imperative.
“In the Christian tradition, we are called to place the poor and the displaced at the center of our worldly effort,” CWS President and CEO, the Rev. John L. McCullough said. “We yearn for the day when the pursuit of power includes justice for those who are marginalized by race, gender, politics or social concern. As Church World Service, we endorse this Imperative as an important first step in calling on the powerful to help the powerless, establishing a collective will to break the cycles of poverty which we have chosen to allow to continue far too long.”
The global effort, connected around the #faith2endpoverty moniker, brings together leaders of different faiths to embolden the call on global leaders to put into place evidence-based approaches in addressing poverty, and for renewed commitment of resources to ending extreme poverty.
“Christians are called to welcome the stranger, feed the hungry, quench the thirsty and mind the ‘least of these,’” McCullough said. “The 21st century imperative must go beyond short-term solutions; we are also called to eradicate that which keeps the poor bound and hungry, forces people to flee their homes, marginalizes people of color, women and girls, and allows systemic poverty to continue in an era of abundance. As Christ’s church in service to the world, the Moral Imperative is an important next step in righting the imbalance of power that, left unchallenged, condones the hunger, poverty, racism and sexism upon which economic prosperity has been achieved.
“The Moral Imperative is an important acknowledgement of the imbalance of power and the responsibilities of wealth to address it. The Imperative is a call to end extreme poverty by 2030, and a galvanizing point of consensus around which people of faith can say ‘the world is not as it should be, and we choose to act.’”
CWS has a mandate to eradicate hunger and poverty and to promote peace and justice. CWS, now nearly 70 years old, marks the World Bank initiative’s launch with a renewed commitment to advocate for changes to policies that keep communities bound to poverty and injustice; to provide sustainable solutions to food, water and other community challenges; to respond to emergencies and mitigate vulnerability; and to engage and support refugee and immigrant communities.