Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán said this on Vatican Radio as he introduced the Christmas '08 campaign of the Good Samaritan Foundation.
Since 1994, the foundation has helped dozens of countries, especially in Africa, to provide the medications necessary for AIDS victims.
Last year, the cardinal noted, the campaign collected €28,000 and $40,000. During 2008, the pontifical council has provided Africa with $119,000 worth of antiretroviral drugs. The Christmas campaign urges donors to offer just a few euros, and thus provide a month of medications to AIDS victims, especially children.
Funds, the cardinal said, "go immediately to Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Zambia, because there we have innumerable requests for help for those sick with AIDS who are dying."
Each donation, Cardinal Lozano Barragán assured, is like the "light of a star in the tree of life."
The Vatican official noted that last year, some 33 million more people contracted AIDS, 45% of whom are youth between the ages of 15 and 24; 2 million are children.
Some 27% of health care centers that attend AIDS patients around the world are administered by the Church; 44% are run by governments, 18% by nongovernmental organizations, 11% by other religious institutions, and 8% by other groups.
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On the Net:
Good Samaritan Foundation: www.healthpastoral.org/text.php?cid=100&sec=14&docid=71〈=en