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Most back aid despite slump

16 July 2009

by Ed Beavan

ALMOST three-quarters of British people who responded to a Christian Aid survey want to see global poverty ended in their lifetime — but only four per cent think it likely to happen.

Fifty-five per cent said that the economic crisis must not be allowed to hinder efforts to help the world’s poor. Forty-five per cent said that the Government should do more.

The survey coincided with the launch of a Christian Aid report that says that the financial crisis is an “unprecedented opportunity for the final eradication of global poverty”.

The report identifies eight key areas for action. It calls for urgent action to combat climate change, equip developing countries to deal with its impact, and address inter­national obstacles to effective taxa­tion in developing countries.

The director of Christian Aid, Dr Daleep Mukarji, said that the con­tinued existence of poverty was “morally scandalous”.

“It’s not that we don’t know how to treat or cure many diseases, enable the hungry to be fed, educate child­ren or create jobs. It is simply that all too often we look the other way from what needs to be done. There is enough in the world today for every­one’s need, if greed and indifference don’t stand in the way.”

The Secretary of State for Inter­national Development, Douglas Alex­­ander, welcomed the report. “The message is very simple — that we can defeat poverty, but only if we work together. It is important to get that message across to the British public,” he said. The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, said that the report deserved wide support.

Christian Aid has also launched a new advertising campaign: “Poverty Over”.

Strategy’s “glaring omissions”. The Conservative Party’s strategy to tackle world poverty, launched this week, makes “glaring omissions”, the aid agency Tearfund said: it failed to recognise the part played by faith communities, and needed more policy detail on links between climate change and poverty.

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