Call to fast for the Philippines

Typhoon survivors take shelter from the rain as they queue up in the hopes of boarding an evacuation flight on a C-130 military transport plane, Tuesday Nov. 12, 2013, in Tacloban, central Philippines. Thousands of typhoon survivors swarmed the airport on Tuesday seeking a flight out, but only a few hundred made it, leaving behind a shattered, rain-lashed city short of food and water and littered with countless bodies.

Christian Aid has invited all those moved by the extreme plight of the victims of Typhoon Haiyan to go without food on Wednesday as an act of solidarity.

The leader of the Philippines delegation to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Yeb Sano, pledged eight days ago that he would not eat until "meaningful progress" had been made towards a global climate deal.

He says he is doing this in solidarity with those struggling to survive following the devastating typhoon that ripped through the Philippines over a week ago.

He broke down in tears at the start of the conference, saying, "What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness."

Christian Aid is now inviting its supporters to join Sano in this fast, and Christian Aid Chair Dr Rowan Williams is among those who have pledged to go without food for a day. He has encouraged others to get involved, speaking of the "horrifying and lasting losses" the Philippines has sustained.

"People everywhere need the United Nations talks on climate change to produce a result that will in time make the world a safer and more just place," he says.

"No-one can fail to have been moved by the words of Yeb Sano, who has gone without food for more than a week as a symbol of his country's need for a strong outcome at the talks."

Sano told Christian Aid yesterday that he is "extremely grateful" that people are standing alongside the Philippines at this traumatic time, and is moved that his efforts towards getting action on climate change are being supported.

"What is encouraging about hearing that others are fasting is knowing that our message is being heard outside of this summit by normal people around the world.

"If we're going to get action on climate change it will come from the grass roots, through people doing what they can in their own communities," he says.

Christian Aid is calling on Ed Davey, the UK's Climate Secretary, to push for a good outcome in Warsaw. They hope an agreement will be made as to a clear and fair process by which rich and poor countries can share the emissions cuts that must be made in order to avert further dangerous climate change.

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