Pope Benedict XVI: Access to Water is “a Universal and Unalienable Right”

Earlier this week, Pope Benedict XVI sent a message to the International Exposition on Water and Sustainable Development meeting in Zaragoza, Spain in which he emphasized the right of all people, especially those living in poverty, to access clean, safe water. Here is a snippet of what he said:

We have to be aware that, regrettably, water — an essential and indispensable good that the Lord has given us to maintain and develop life — because of incursions and pressures from various social factors, is today considered a good that must be especially protected through clear national and international policies and used according to sensible criteria of solidarity and responsibility. The use of water — which is seen as a universal and inalienable right — is related to the growing and urgent needs of those living in poverty, keeping in mind that the ‘limited access to drinkable water affects the wellbeing of an enormous number of people and is frequently the cause of illness, suffering, conflict, poverty, and also death.’

Read the full text of the Pope’s message.

And you can read about the projects CRS is implementing across the globe to give more people access to clean, healthy water in places like Ethiopia, Brazil and Afghanistan. These projects are improving people’s health, reducing hours wasted collecting and transporting water, and increasing food and incomes by promoting hearty harvests and livestock.

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