He outlined the WCC’s efforts related to Churches’ Commitments to Children, implemented in partnership with UNICEF, to address the needs of children.
“We want to contribute more in this respect, embodying the qualities of child-friendly, caring and protecting churches – anchored in solid child safeguarding measures,” he said. “But we also have to confess that collectively we have fallen short.”
Prove also gave an overview of the WCC Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance Food for Life Campaign, which promotes just and sustainable food systems and adequate nutrition through a rights-based approach.
He also introduced the WCC Ecumenical Water Network—an initiative that brings together churches and church-related organizations that promote the preservation, responsible management and equitable distribution of water for all—as well as WCC’s participation in the Blue Community initiative.
“As a ‘Blue Community’, WCC promotes the human right to water, says no to privatisation of water, and works to raise awareness of the problems created by indiscriminate use of disposable plastic bottles and their negative impact on the environment,” said Prove.
Interreligious engagement on the Sustainable Development Goals is another important facet of the WCC’s work, continued Prove, highlighting the role and potential of the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD).
Prove particularly stressed the emerging hunger crisis in several countries, “driven by conflict, by climate change, and by the economic impacts of COVID-19 that have left people even further behind.” “We know from past emergencies, that around half perished before a famine declaration was made.” Prove stressed that funding commitments must be disbursed quickly to meet urgent need, and additional commitments made to support longer-term solutions to food crises. “The critical window to prevent famine is rapidly closing and funding must reach those that need it most.”
Longer-term actions are needed to address the underlying issues that are driving hunger, Prove urged. “Support to climate change adaptation for those most affected, livelihoods support and COVID-19 recovery assistance, and peace-building are among a range of programmes required to help communities recover, adapt, rebuild and eventually thrive,” he said.