"We are a partnership of people, churches and local organisations committed to ending poverty worldwide." "Working together is fundamental to the work of Christian Aid." (https://www.christianaid.org.uk)
These key principles demonstrate the importance of teamwork in tackling the enormous global challenges of extreme poverty and injustice. Christian Aid has more than 70 years’ experience of working in partnership to support communities to thrive. It provides, with others, prompt responses to disasters and ongoing work to address the root causes of poverty so that women, men and children the world over are strengthened against future devastating events.
This year's Christian Aid Week drew our attention to Haiti, raising funds to help build hurricane proof homes and hope. Throughout its history, Haiti has been hit by natural disaster after natural disaster. Its location in the Caribbean is in hurricane and tropical storm territory. Weather conditions have been getting worse. Since 1998, Haiti has been hit by ten hurricanes and other tropical storms, causing widespread loss of life and flooding. Other natural disasters, such as the 2010 earthquake, have also resulted in massive amounts of property and infrastructure damage. The combination of environmental factors, worsened by soil erosion, has greatly contributed to extreme poverty in Haiti. It is difficult to make progress without outside help under these conditions.
Christian Aid provides immediate short-term relief in response to disasters and aims to increase the resilience of local populations to future events. An example of Christian Aid's resilience work in Haiti is related to climate change with three important strands:
● Awareness is raised by working through faith leaders and the media, to educate people so they can be better prepared and able to reduce the risks associated with disasters.
● Adaptation ~ deforestation continues to be a significant concern in Haiti. Reforestation is a priority in the country because trees minimise the impact of storms, acting as a buffer and protecting homes and property. Christian Aid is working with partners to re-plant 100,000 trees per year and find alternative energy sources including developing energy-efficient stoves. This programme also provides workers in the forestry industry with alternative livelihoods to reduce the impact of these activities on the environment.
● Advocacy ~ Christian Aid supports climate change networks across Haiti and together they are calling for the government to do more to address climate change. Christian Aid also advocates for the government to work towards prevention solutions before natural disasters hit rather than just actions in response to these disasters.
Christian Aid works in many different ways in many different partnership and coalitions to alleviate immediate hardship and importantly to tackle the underlying causes of poverty and challenge the systems that keep people poor.
Thank you to all who have donated to Christian Aid.