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Caritas head calls for increased foreign aid

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Caritas president Michael Landau. Photo: APA (Archiv/Hochmuth)
16:03 CEST+02:00
In light of numerous international crises, the head of the Catholic aid organisation Caritas has called for Austria's foreign disaster aid fund to be increased.

 The funding for development aid (EZA) also needed to be raised considerably, said Caritas president Michael Landau in an interview with the Catholic news agency "Kathpress" on Sunday.

Increases in foreign disaster and development aid were planned for in the Austrian government programme, said Landau, and should take place "today rather than tomorrow". By increasing funding, Austria could position itself as a "major humanitarian power". At the moment, Austria's expenditures for the EZA were less than impressive, said Landau.

The Caritas head asserted that in newly-industrialised countries, uneducated workers did not reap the benefits of globalisation. Instead, only the people with better education profited, and so the gap between rich and poor continued to widen, he said. The assumption that global trade would help reduce inequality in the world and in the countries involved in trade had proven to be untrue, said Landau.

He demanded that the poor be given a chance; otherwise the danger of social unrest would increase. This was exactly where direct development aid was needed, he said.

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