Lusaka, 08 April, 2022 / 8:29 pm (ACI Africa).
Jesuit scholars in Zambia are calling upon the government of the Southern African nation “to seriously consider” adopting the “preferential option for the poor”, one of the principles of the Catholic social teaching in which the well-being of the vulnerable in society is prioritized.
In their Thursday, April 7 Basic Needs and Nutrition Basket (BNNB) statement outlining the cost of living for March 2022, officials of the Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection (JCTR) say they are concerned that the consistent rise in the cost of living will inevitably hit hard on the majority of the Zambian people given high poverty levels pegged at over 54 percent amid very low incomes.
“The need to seriously consider the preferential option for the poor, the vulnerable and the marginalized in policy formulation and implementation is evident,” officials of the Zambia-based Centre that is engaged in research, advocacy, education and consultancy on social issues say.
They say the principle is necessary because of the “impact of the high cost of living on vulnerable and marginalized groups like women, the aged, people with disabilities, children, the unemployed and the poor, certain moral imperatives become clear for the Government and other stakeholders.”
“The Government in particular must be in solidarity with these vulnerable groups and develop pro-poor policies, which will enable the progressive realization and accessibility of rights like education, health care, nutrition, water, and a healthy environment,” the Jesuit scholars say.