As an agency of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Relief Services strictly adheres to the teaching of the Catholic Church and the policies of the USCCB. Our work that is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is always carried out in ways that uphold the teaching of the Church.
CRS has received significant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for agriculture, microfinance and emergency response projects. CRS is grateful for this important funding and values its support from the foundation which funds programs that are carried out in ways that are fully consistent with Catholic teaching.
Thousands of lives have been saved and the well-being of countless people has been enhanced through these programs. For example, the Great Lakes Cassava Initiative (GLCI) reached 1,345,618 farmers in six African countries with disease tolerant cassava plants that allowed them to continue to have a staple food for their families. Also, funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation helped CRS work with one million members of Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, promoting regular saving and access to small loans for entrepreneurial endeavors.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a very large organization with a small percentage of its resources devoted to artificial contraception. In our work funded by the Gates Foundation and in all our work, CRS does not promote, provide, or support artificial contraception. CRS does promote natural family planning in line with Church teaching. When practiced correctly, natural family planning is effective and is consistent with cultural and religious values in much of the world.
As the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation rolls out its family planning initiative, we are working to encourage them to include evidence-based, culturally appropriate methods of natural family planning, which are implemented by faith-based organizations like CRS. We also encourage the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to ensure that Catholic health institutions, which provide between 25% and 70% of health care in countries in Africa, are able to compete fairly for their health funding without having to violate our convictions.
Comments for this post are closed.