Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, the Catholic agency for Justice, Peace and Development, welcomes the government’s newly announced $12.1 billion package to support New Zealanders during the COVID-19 crisis, with its intent to support healthcare, the economy and businesses as well as the needs of the most vulnerable. “We especially welcome the $25 per week benefit increase and a doubling of the winter energy payment, which will help the elderly and those most at risk with COVID-19,” says Caritas Director, Julianne Hickey.
Caritas congratulates the government on its initiative to support employment so that people can continue to support their families. Caritas also acknowledges the impact on businesses and endorses strategic action for them. These measures will be welcomed by businesses and employees whose work and jobs are at risk.
“We call on the government to continue to prioritise the health of the elderly, the immunocompromised and any others who are in a particularly vulnerable position. All human life has innate dignity and should be protected. We must make sure that the well-being of communities is protected,” says Ms Hickey.
Caritas is optimistic that the response to this pandemic will demonstrate what individuals, communities and government can do for the good of all, and that lessons learned from this crisis can be applied in other areas of our lives. We are all interdependent and closely connected in this globalised world, and perhaps the measures we take or see others taking will allow us to focus on what is important, what is necessary and what builds true solidarity among all peoples.
Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is the New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ agency for justice, peace and development, and incorporates Catholic Volunteers Overseas. We are working for a world free of poverty and injustice through community development, advocacy, education, and emergency relief.