Archbishop Tutu hails determination of CAFOD aid campaigners

21 March 2013

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has paid tribute to CAFOD campaigners for their “tireless work” and “steadfast refusal to accept the status quo”. This week’s commitment by the UK government to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on international development aid shows that your determination has paid off.

Campaigners are celebrating the announcement, which came over 40 years after the promise was first made at the United Nations in 1970.

Thank you

CAFOD Head of Campaigns Clare Lyons said, “This victory hasn’t come easy. Over the course of four decades, you have written letters, met MPs, sent emails and gone on demonstrations, all because of your desire to see a world where everyone has the chance to flourish. In this Budget, we have taken another significant step towards such a world.

“0.7 is not a magic number and aid alone cannot end poverty. But yesterday’s announcement shows that, working together with other organisations, we have successfully made the case for aid – and that the government has listened. Thank you.”

7 reasons to celebrate 0.7%

 

  1. Aid saves lives. From immunisation to school enrolment, millions of lives have been saved or transformed due to international aid
  2. Aid enables governments to plan for tackling poverty in the long-term. According to some estimates, aid has added one per cent to the annual rate of economic growth in the countries where the poorest billion people live
  3. It stops aid being a party political issue – all parties now agree on meeting this target
  4. It encourages other countries to follow suit and boosts Britain’s reputation further as a world leader in spending aid where it’s most needed
  5. It shows that we care about tackling poverty and injustice even in tough economic times
  6. It’s a promise that’s been kept – even if it took a long time
  7. Now this announcement has been made, we can concentrate on addressing the issues which keep people poor - from business transparency to climate change.

A long struggle

CAFOD welcomed the promise when it was made in 1970, and encouraged Catholics in England and Wales to make aid a general election issue in 1992 and subsequent elections.

In 2005, the demand for more and better aid was a central part of the campaign to Make Poverty History which was built on by The World Can’t Wait campaign in 2006.

In 2010, campaigners succeeded in getting all major parties to support the 0.7 per cent target in their general election manifestos.

More recent campaigns and events, including Teatime for Change and our current food campaign Hungry for change, have also put pressure on politicians to keep this promise.

On 20 March 2013, the UK became the first G8 nation to commit to spending 0.7 per cent of national income on international development aid.

Tutu: "Aid alone will never be enough"

CAFOD is a founder member of the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign, a coalition of more than 150 organisations calling for an end to global hunger. In an article published in the Mirror in support of the IF campaign, Desmond Tutu thanked campaigners and reminded them that more needs to be done. He said,

“Many decades ago, hundreds of thousands of British people joined the anti-Apartheid campaign. The same campaigners came together after Apartheid was dismantled to demand the cancellation of developing countries’ debt, and again in 2005 to demand poverty was consigned to history.

“They have also worked tirelessly for more than 40 years to realise the promise made by the wealthiest countries to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on aid.

“Looking at the hundred or so charities across Britain that have joined together for this campaign, I recognise veterans of the struggle against apartheid and debt - Oxfam, Christian Aid, CAFOD and many more - some inspired by their faith, some by their compassion - all driven by their steadfast refusal to accept the status quo of poverty and hunger in the 21st century.

“The Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign knows that - to tackle the root causes of hunger - aid alone will never be enough; we have to knock down the Jericho Walls of the global systems that are keeping people poor.”

By the end of 2013, we could have even more to celebrate, but only IF we act together to call for an end to global hunger. Sign up now to be part of the IF campaign >>

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