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Press release

6 November 2017

UK Government to double donations to Christian Aid Christmas Appeal

This Christmas, for every pound the public give to the Christian Aid Christmas Appeal to support people living in poverty, the UK Government will also give a pound.  That’s double the support for families struggling to feed themselves in South Sudan, meaning even more mothers and infants under-five in South Sudan will be saved from the life-threatening effects of malnutrition. 

As many families gather together for a time of plenty and abundance, millions of mothers and young children hit by severe hunger in countries across the world, including South Sudan, are living on the edge of starvation.

Earlier this year, famine was declared in parts of South Sudan, the first time it was declared anywhere in six years.  More than three years of conflict had displaced nearly four million people, disrupting harvests and leading to devastating food shortages.

Although famine was averted, the crisis in South Sudan has reached unprecedented levels, with an estimated six million people lacking adequate food. If left untreated, acute malnutrition – the most extreme form of food crisis – can lead to death.

Dr Rowan Williams, Chair of Christian Aid, who visited South Sudan with the organisation in 2014, said: “Hunger is not inevitable. There is enough food in the world to feed everyone. Yet people are still going to bed hungry, and every day thousands of the world’s most vulnerable children die as a result of starvation. It is right that we should feel outrage and bewilderment at this.   

“In South Sudan, fifty percent of the population is now expected to be experiencing food insecurity.  This situation is further exacerbated by the ongoing armed conflict, which has caused millions to flee their homes. The deteriorating economic crisis and huge increase in the price of cereals – the primary staple food for low income families in South Sudan – has further worsened the situation.

“We are delighted to receive the support of the Government’s UKAid Match again this year, which will double the amount donated to Christian Aid’s Christmas Appeal and help support people living in poverty.”

Christian Aid partner organisation SPEDP (Support for Peace and Education and Development Programme) is providing cash vouchers to people struggling with acute malnutrition so they can buy essential food in local markets to help their families recover.

International Development Secretary, Priti Patel said: “I visited South Sudan earlier this year and saw for myself the devastating impact of famine on families and communities. The UK Government is providing food, water and medical supplies but there are still many malnourished women and children across the country.

“This Christmas, Christian Aid’s ‘Enough for Everyone’ appeal will provide life-saving nutrition programmes in South Sudan. The UK Government will match all public donations to the appeal pound for pound, helping to double the difference that Britons can make.”

Your donation could help Christian Aid prevent many thousands of unnecessary deaths from malnutrition. Just £5 could provide a cash voucher to provide enough food for a family for four days, and £150 could provide ten families with fishing gear to provide food rich in protein.

Donations made to the Christmas Appeal between 6 November 2017 and 5 February 2018 will be matched up to £2.7 million. We will use your donations for projects such as those featured. The UK Government’s match will fund our work in South Sudan.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

UK Aid Match is run by the Department for International Development. It brings charities, the British public and the UK government together to collectively change the lives of some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. The Government will match every donation to participating charity appeals, up to a total of £5 million per UK Aid Match appeal, for a three-month period.  Donations must be from individuals based in the UK.

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development.

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk