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Friday, September 30, 2016
CAFOD campaigners send white bands to Blair
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¬†CAFOD campaigners have vowed to continue the fight against poverty and are sending their white bands to Prime Minister Tony Blair in a powerful demand that he do the same. In solidarity with 31 million people around the world last year Tony Blair sported a white band, the symbol of the Make Poverty History campaign. CAFOD sold over 125,000 white bands and many of those bands, as well as strips of white paper and cloth, will soon be landing on the Prime Minister's desk. As the official Make Poverty History campaign comes to a close, they will remind him to continue to focus on the world's poorest people in the years ahead and that campaigners are watching to ensure he plays his part. Alison Marshall, CAFOD's Head of Campaigns said: "CAFOD campaigners and their white bands have travelled the length and breadth of Britain, visited Europe and beyond to spread the Make Poverty History message of more and better aid, debt cancellation and trade justice. It is now time for the white bands final important journey and that is to Number 10 Downing Street. "Sending in your white band lets the Prime Minister know that we're continuing to push to end extreme poverty and watching closely to see that he plays his part. 2005 was an unprecedented opportunity to injustice and poverty that takes 30,000 lives every single day. Real and significant changes were won but so much more needs to be done if justice is to be delivered. Over 700 Catholic parishes signed a white sash petition for Edinburgh calling for an end to extreme poverty. Over 91,000 CAFOD supporters sent postcards and e-mails to Tony Blair before the G8 calling on him to make poverty history. Up to 800 monks and nuns took part in the first ever religious lobby of Parliament and about 70,000 supporters voted for trade justice, including Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor. The pressure created by the Make Poverty History campaign led to world leaders agreeing to increase aid and cancel more debt. However, CAFOD says the aid pledge of $48 billion (£27 billion) by 2010 is long overdue and progress far too slow to make poverty history by the promised target date of 2015. Only limited progress was made on making aid more effective. The debt deal, although a significant victory for campaigners in that it accepts the long-fought for principle of 100 per cent debt cancellation, so far only benefits 19 countries, whilst also failing to tackle the harmful economic policy conditions attached to qualifying for debt relief. Change in trade rules has also been disappointing as rich countries at the World Trade Organisation, including the UK and European Union, favoured their own interests over the world's poor. Ms Marshall said: "2005 was the start of something huge and CAFOD will be at the forefront of continuing this work. We encourage all those people who wore white bands to continue campaigning and we want the Prime Minister to also show his continued commitment."
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