United Kingdom – According to Church Times, various faith-based organizations and aid agencies gathered with the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, and the Secretary of State for International Development, Hilary Benn, for a conference known as “Making Development Work for All” on Monday, Feb. 16 to observe how to fight against poverty.
At the conference the Chancellor expressed his wish to reinforce poverty relief by doubling aid spending through the International Finance Facility (IFF), before it really reaches failure and let it revive with successful results by 2015
Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, spoke of the importance of faith-based organizations around the world to work together in tackling poverty. He also commented that advanced civilizations should have a moral imperative not to tolerate the fact that 20 per cent of humanity has access to 80 per cent of the world’s resources.
Martin Drewery, head of campaigns for Christian Aid, also commended the Chancellor’s initiative but he still feels it is necessary to address general concerns more on trade justice.
“It was a very exciting meeting, and there will clearly be an opportunity in 2005 to challenge world leaders on poverty to an extent that has never been done before. However, Gordon Brown is still not addressing our concerns on trade justice,” Drewery said on Tuesday.
He added, “We have serious concerns that it is not anything like as high up on the agenda as Christian Aid would like it to be. The Government is not hearing our message accurately or responding adequately.”
The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, said: “The greatest scandal and scourge of humankind is dire poverty and the misery and exploitation that accompanies and exacerbates it.”
Tearfund also released a report known as ‘Before Disaster Strkes’ this week calling on Western governments to focus more on preventive measures for the communities that are most vulnerable to natural disasters.