Tearfund and New Wine seek greater Government commitment to ending poverty

Christian development agency Tearfund and New Wine church have challenged the Government to do even more to eradicate global poverty.

A team of Tearfund campaigners ran through Westminster before passing the baton on to New Wine leaders John and Anne Coles, who ran the final stretch to Number 10 Downing Street, together with thousands of petition cards.

The cards call on the Government to step up their game in the race to eradicate poverty, just five years from the 2015 deadline to fulfil the Millennium Development Goals.

The postcards were signed by thousands of Christians during this year’s major festivals, including Spring Harvest, Soul Survivor and Greenbelt.

They were handed over to Downing Street days ahead of a major UN summit to assess progress on the MDGs taking place in New York next week.

Tearfund wants Prime Minister David Cameron to put poverty high on the Government’s agenda and invest resources in the MDGs, particularly those that are trailing, such as maternal mortality and water and sanitation.

Tearfund’s Head of Campaigns Ben Niblett said: “The upcoming summit is an important test for our new government to show its commitment to making poverty history.

“With 40% of the world’s population still waiting to for a decent toilet and almost a billion people going to bed hungry every day, we need our government to devote the necessary resources and energy to ensure that all of the goals are achieved.”

The Millennium Development Goals were agreed by world leaders in 2000 with the aim of significantly reducing poverty, the prevalence of disease, threats to environmental sustainability, and maternal and child deaths among other issues.

The UN says progress has been mixed, while Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon recently warned that governments would have to “redouble” their efforts if the goals were to be met.