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Caritas Forum: working guidelines for the next government

Thursday 21 September 2023

Caritas Luxembourg today released the final report of the first Caritas Forum, held in May 2023 on the theme "Aarm mécht krank, krank mécht aarm". For Caritas Luxembourg, this first edition of the Caritas Forum highlighted important areas of work for the next government.

The first major lesson to be learned from the Caritas Forum, according to Caritas Luxembourg, is certainly that we need to better discern what we mean by "poverty". Poverty should not only be understood as a lack of financial and material means. The issue of poverty is much more complex and touches on many aspects of life: housing, food, education, physical health, mental health, social life, etc. At the same time, poverty is both the cause of difficult living situations ("Aarm mécht krank") and the consequence ("Krank mécht aarm"). All these aspects need to be taken into account if poverty is to be combated effectively in Luxembourg.

A second lesson is that if we are to break the spiral of poverty, we need to review our system of social aid in such a way as to put the human being at the centre of the system and not the type of aid. For many people, it's difficult to find their way through the numerous forms of assistance available and to which they are eligible, and to take the necessary steps to obtain them, steps that often have to be taken separately, in different places, for different deadlines. Even though we don't have any statistics on this, Caritas Luxembourg believes that there are many people who are eligible for aid but don't apply for it because they lack information or are ashamed of having to go through so many doors. Putting the person at the centre would mean considering the person and his/her situation first and foremost, and automatically deriving from this the aid he/she needs.

The third lesson flows from the first two. It is clear that if we want a holistic approach to poverty and a system of aid that is centred on the human being, we absolutely must have greater consultation between all the players involved: ministries, administrations, aid services and associations, etc. 

The Caritas Forum final report "Aarm mécht krank, krank mécht aarm" can be downloaded below.

Many thanks once again to the experts and participants who contributed to the first Caritas Forum.

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