Development and Peace was established in 1967 by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in response to Pope Paul VI's encyclical letter Populorum Progressio, which says that Development is the new word for Peace. Peace cannot be seen simply as the absence of war. It must be built daily, and it must strive towards a more perfect justice among human beings (Populorum Progressio, 76). That founding principle of Development and Peace is still maintained today.
Development and Peace seeks ways to help people of all faiths in the Third World break the cycle of poverty through community-based, sustainable development initiatives. Over the years, the focus of Development and Peace shifted from a "project-based" organization to a "program-based" organization.
Since 1967, Development and Peace supports partners working in order to improve living conditions in 70 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Middle East. Our programs involve issues relating to people’s right to better education, women’s equality, agrarian reform, housing and cooperative movements. The funds we send abroad support grassroots organizations run by people who know first hand the issues facing the developing world. These overseas partners help us determine the nature of our agency’s involvement abroad. Since our inception we have funded 15,200 projects world-wide. We also solicit donations from Canadians to provide emergency relief abroad for natural disasters, civil disturbances and other human tragedies.
Development and Peace is a membership led organization supported by parish collections, individual donations and government grants, principally from the Department of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Development of Canada. We have offices in Montréal and Toronto as well as regional representatives across Canada. We are also linked to a worldwide network of international Catholic development agencies. Our work is supervised by a 21-member National Council composed of volunteers.
We believe that Canadians of all religious beliefs have a responsibility to help the world's poor and disadvantaged, either by urging governments, corporations and others to implement change, or by donating time or money to support development efforts. With the proper social and economic tools, people in the Third World can lead better lives.
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