Press release

Put soap at the top of this year's Christmas list to save lives, urges Christian Aid

The humble bar of soap has morphed into a key tool in the global fight against coronavirus across the world this year and Christian Aid is urging the public to put it at the top of their 2020 Christmas list.
The international aid and development organisation has provided soap for almost 250,000 people worldwide since the outbreak began and CEO Amanda Khozi Mukwashi
is appealing to the public also to buy the traditional Christmas gift of soap for the world’s most vulnerable people, as well as for loved ones closer to home.
Three billion people - 40% of the world’s population - do not have access to soap and water in the home – making regular hand washing very difficult.
Refugees living in crowded camps are particularly vulnerable to disease. Since April 2020 Christian Aid partner organisations in Bangladesh have provided over 40,000 bars of soap for Rohingya families and the local host community.
In Ethiopia, where coronavirus is an additional threat to lives on top of the climate crisis and the locust swarms of 2020, Christian Aid partners are training women to make soap from the drought resistant aloe vera plant. The soap not only protects the women’s own families but provides a vital source of income.
As online shopping continues its meteoric rise, Christian Aid this year has expanded its digital gift selection to include a Charity Gift enabling supporters to help train more women to make soap for £15 or provide clean water for £30.
Ms Mukwashi said: “This has been a year when we in the UK have experienced vulnerability in a way we haven’t for many generations and have been given an insight into what it is like to not be able to fully protect our loved ones from outside forces.
“But we have tools at our disposal. We can wash our hands with soap and water and this year we are appealing to the public to help put those critical tools in the hands of some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Please put soap and water at the top of your Christmas list and together we can save lives and offer hope this Christmas.”  
NHS Consultant Dr Paul Grime of St Thomas’ Hospital, London, who travelled with Christian Aid to see projects improving access to water in rural Ethiopia said: “We mustn’t underestimate the importance of soap and water. These may seem like basic and simple resources to us, but they can make a huge difference to those who don't have them.  Making them available gives people the chance to protect themselves and their loved ones, control the spread of the virus and other infections in their communities and avoid the devastating impact that infections like coronavirus have on the poorest members of our global community.”  
Ethiopia is the focus of Christian Aid's Christmas Appeal this year. Christian Aid is also watching the unfolding humanitarian situation in northern Ethiopia with growing concern. Our ACT Alliance partners are responding to support communities directly affected within Tigray and refugees fleeing over the border into Sudan. Christian Aid is in discussion with ACT Alliance to see how we can best support their efforts from our emergency funds.
To support Christian Aid’s Christmas Appeal visit