The Grand Chancellor of the Order of Malta, on a visit to Vilnius, says that Lithuania has made a big progress, but there are still many disadvantaged and vulnerable people in the country.
In Betanija canteen
© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager said after a meeting with Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius on Monday that elderly and disable people are the most in need of attention in Lithuania.

"Lithuania has a remarkable development in many fields. The situation of the country cannot compare to what it was 25 ago, when we started our activities, but still there are a lot of pockets of poverty and we try to concentrate our efforts on the people in these pockets: elderly people who receive only low pensions and handicapped people," the grand chancellor said.

"In every country you find people who fall out of the social net or where that social net is not strong enough. Therefore, you need private initiatives to take care of these people," he said.

Butkevičius thanked the grand chancellor for the Order of Malta's activities and projects in Lithuania, the government's press office said.

"I sincerely thank the Order of Malta and you personally. We received your help when we needed it most: during the events of January 13, 1991," the prime minister said.

"This year, thanks to you, a meeting of the Order of Malta's ambassadors is taking place in Lithuania and Vilnius has been chosen as the location for a regional operational center," he said.

The Relief Organization of the Order of Malta in Lithuania is currently marking 25 years since it was established in the autumn of 1991.

Some 1,200 volunteers help, on a regular basis, more than 2,200 elderly, poor and disabled people in 40 Lithuanian cities and towns. Help is also provided to over 1,500 socially deprived children.

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