Ambassador Gingrich’s Remarks
Sant’ Egidio – UISG Press Conference
December 3, 2020
I’d like to thank Mauro Garofalo and the Community of Sant’Egidio for the opportunity to be with you today.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed our world. In Italy, the coronavirus has infected more than 1.6 million people and has claimed over 50,000 lives.
The United States and Italy enjoy a strong and friendly relationship, enriched by our shared history, values, and culture.
As part of our enduring friendship, the United States, through the generosity of the American people and the United States Agency for International Development, is honored to award a $900,000 grant to the Community of Sant’Egidio and its collaborator, the International Union of Superiors General, to provide critical humanitarian assistance to those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy.
Through this project, which began in July, Sant’Egidio and UISG have provided essential items such as food, clothing, and personal protection equipment to the homeless, the elderly, and other at-risk people. They have also provided counseling services and virtual medical assessments.
Sant’Egidio and UISG are two of the finest examples of faith-based organizations that serve some of the most vulnerable populations around the world.
Faith-based organizations are defined by an abiding sense of purpose and are dedicated to aiding those most in need. They serve as lifelines for communities experiencing unprecedented hardships and as advocates for the oppressed.
The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See and the Community of Sant’Egidio have enjoyed a long and productive relationship. Together we have mediated conflicts, advanced interfaith dialogue, and provided humanitarian assistance to those most in need.
Sant’Egidio is recognized around the world for its efforts to resolve conflict, promote peace, and alleviate poverty through its vast international network.
As Secretary Mike Pompeo said during his visit to Rome on October 1st, “Sant’Egidio’s work is noble because it reaches where politics cannot reach and achieves what politics cannot achieve.”
UISG is also a cherished partner of the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See. Over the years, we have worked with Sister Pat Murray and her dedicated staff to combat human trafficking, to promote interreligious dialogue, and to advance the courageous work of women religious.
UISG is a unifying voice for 400,000 women religious who work tirelessly to defend human dignity around the world.
I am delighted that UISG has partnered with Sant’Egidio to support religious communities and homeless shelters for those in urgent need of medical and hygienic products.
I commend the Community of Sant’Egidio and UISG for their life-saving efforts in Italy.
Working together, across governments, faith-based organizations, and civil society, we can and will overcome the spread of COVID-19.