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Africa Rising, Hope and Healing

Through our campaign Africa Rising, Hope and Healing, Catholic Relief Services invites Catholics in the United States to engage in prayer, dialogue and advocacy around pressing issues facing the people of Africa. We hope that our Africa Campaign will provide an opportunity to heed the call of our bishops to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Africa and to put our faith into action.

The Issues

The Africa Rising Hope and Healing campaign focuses on issues of HIV and AIDS, peacebuilding and poverty in Africa and encourages advocacy with the U.S. government, international financial institutions and corporations to pursue policies that support the continent's development.

Recent Achievements

Since CRS first launched the Africa Campaign in 2001, we have celebrated some substantial policy victories:

  • Curbing the sale of "conflict diamonds." CRS, our grassroots and other partners successfully advocated for passage of the Clean Diamonds Act of 2003, which restricts the sale of rough gems used to fund conflict in countries such as Sierra Leone, Angola and Liberia.

  • Fighting the spread of HIV. CRS and our supporters successfully advocated for comprehensive authorization of President George W. Bush's proposal to dedicate an additional $15 billion over five years to fight HIV and AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean.

  • Developing new ways for the United States to assist poor countries. President George W. Bush called for $5 billion in new foreign aid in his proposed Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) that would be tied to certain eligibility criteria. CRS and our partners have been working very hard to ensure comprehensive authorization and full funding of this new program so that it will serve Africa's poorest countries and will not take money away from those countries in Africa that do not qualify for the MCA.

The Africa Campaign's Current Goals

  1. HIV and AIDS

    • Ensure the president's commitment is upheld to provide $15 billion over five years to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS.

    • Ensure sub-Saharan Africa receives at least $1 billion more per year to fight HIV and AIDS.

    • Promote U.S. policies that deepen debt relief for the poorest countries in Africa.

  2. Peacebuilding

    • Encourage the U.S. government to play a constructive role in bringing peace and justice to African countries in conflict.

    • Encourage the U.S. government, corporations and international financial institutions to increase transparency and accountability regarding revenues obtained through natural resources extraction in Africa.

  3. Increase U.S. Assistance to sub-Saharan Africa

    • Ensure ongoing humanitarian and development assistance programs are adequately funded.

    • Secure full funding of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) — an additional $5 billion a year in foreign development assistance by 2006 — and ensure that the money is targeted to the poorest countries in Africa.

    • Advocate for a $1 billion increase over existing U.S. foreign assistance for relief and development programming in sub-Saharan Africa.

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