Bad news about poverty, disease and disaster abounds. Today in the spirit of Thanksgiving, Catholic Relief Services offers another perspective. Good News—For a Change highlights major strides in the fight against global poverty that are making a real difference in people’s lives.

This first annual report includes infographics that at a glance demonstrate the progress being made around the world, in part because of the generosity of the American people in the form of poverty-focused international humanitarian assistance as well as donations to private agencies like CRS. These infographics use metrics issued by widely recognized international agencies like the World Health Organization, UNICEF, UNECSO and UNAIDS.

“Too often, we focus on problems,” said John Rivera, CRS’ Communications Director. “We thought we’d take a different approach. Drawing on our tradition of Catholic Social Teaching, with its focus on the Common Good and Integral Human Development, we decided we would emphasize both our grounding in the Gospel as well as our effective action for improving the lives of the people we serve. Hence, Good News—For a Change.”

The infographics cover the gamut of humanitarian action:

· Between 1990 and 2010, over two billion people gained access to improved drinking water sources, such as piped supplies and protected wells.

· Guinea Worm disease (Dracunculiasis) is on the verge of eradication. While there were 3.2 million cases in 1986, fewer than 400 cases now exist in just four African countries (about 99% of transmission is occurring in South Sudan).

· In 2011, an estimated 6.9 million children died before their fifth birthday, compared to around 12 million in 1990. Rates of child mortality have fallen in all regions of the world in the last two decades.

· More girls around the world are attending school and advancing further than ever before.

· There are effective ways, with the use of antiretroviral drug therapy and related medical care, to prevent the transmission of HIV from mother to child in as many as 98% of cases.

Comments

David Smith | 11/21/2012 - 9:49pm
Thanks, Kevin.  This is one reason I read the Christian Science Monitor:  humans are capable of great good, and it's healthy to remind ourselves of that, not just of what's wrong with the world.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Bill Collier | 11/21/2012 - 11:17am
Thanks for this post, Kevin, and your title can be rearranged to deliver an equally important message: ''Reasons for Giving Thanks for CRS.'' Not only is CRS one of the top tier charities overall for delivering the biggest bang for donors' bucks, but its unsullied reputation for dispensing quality services regardless of religion, race, etc. has also made it a favorite for secular philanthropists who admire CRS's on-the-ground presence in many of the world's trouble spots. In 1999, for example, Paul Newman, through the philanthropic arm of his ''Newman's Own'' brand, donated money to CRS for use in Kosovo because Newman was impressed with CRS's established network for the delivery of services in that war-torn area. IMO, CRS is one of the Church's premier outreach success stories and a living example of the lessons of the Beatitudes. It should be on every Catholic's list of worthwhile charities to which to donate.