Government boost for Christian Aid Week
Published 18 April 2012
Christian Aid's annual week of fundraising has been given a significant boost thanks to the Government's UK Aid Match scheme.
Thousands of people are expected to participate in Christian Aid Week from 13 to 19 May by making collections and hosting quizzes and other fundraising activities.
UK Aid Match, introduced in June 2011, allows the public to have a say in how some of the existing UK aid budget is spent by match funding selected charity appeals for poverty reduction work carried out in developing countries.
The first £5 million donated to Christian Aid Week this year will be matched by the Department for International Development (DFID) pound for pound.
The additional funds will go towards the charity's work improving healthcare and enterprise-based development in impoverished communities in Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Africa, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and Burma.
A strong focus will be on helping small farmers and landless labourers, mainly women, to secure land employment opportunities.
Christian Aid plans to use the funds to help communities build cooperatives and learn how to advocate to local and national governments about the issues that affect their ability to support themselves.
Training and assistance will be given to help people acquire vocational skills like sewing, and improve the productivity of household gardens.
Part of the funds will go towards Christian Aid's work to reduce maternal and child mortality, reduce malaria rates, and tackle the stigma surrounding people living with HIV.
All of the UK Aid Match money will be spent over three years.
Loretta Minghella, Director of Christian Aid, said: "We are delighted DFID have awarded Christian Aid Week UK Aid Match funding.
"Christian Aid Week has been running for 55 years and this is the first time we have ever received this kind of match funding for it.
"It’s a major boost to our fundraising efforts in an increasingly difficult economic climate.
"The potential extra £5 million will make an enormous difference to our ability to help poor communities around the world live in dignity."
Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development, said: "For over half a century, the British public has shown its support for Christian Aid’s work to ensure people in poor communities around the world get a chance to work their own way out of poverty.
"In recognition of that fantastic generosity, we’re looking to match pound for pound the first £5 million donated during Christian Aid Week to help the charity reach over one million more people.
"In Gbap in Sierra Leone, for example, that means working with local organisations to provide seeds and farming tools so people can grow and sell their own food, help in getting a fair price for their produce and a new school for their children.
"Our match funding means that Christian Aid can multiply that life changing support to reach some of the poorest people in Africa and South East Asia."
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