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Sunday, December 4, 2016
CAFOD campaigners join thousands at mass lobby of parliament
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¬†Hundreds of CAFOD campaigners and supporters braved the rain on Wednesday to join thousands of MakePovertyHistory campaigners at a mass lobby of Parliament calling for global trade justice. CAFOD was represented at the lobby by 800 campaigners from all over the country who joined a total of 8,000 supporters from other development agencies and community groups as part of this year's Make Poverty History campaign. In the run up to the meeting of the World Trade Organisation in December, CAFOD campaigners asked their MPs to put pressure on the UK's Trade Minister and representative at the summit, Alan Johnson MP, to ensure that poor countries get a fair deal at the WTO. Two of CAFOD's campaigners, Finbar Cullinan and Jonathan Taitt, both A-level students at St. Ignatius College, Enfield, said: "We're here to show our support for the campaign for trade justice. It's an unbelievably important issue ≠ it is literally a matter of life and death." "Aid and debt are immediate actions, immediate help. But if you go deeper and look for lasting solutions to poverty you inevitably end up at the issue of trade, where people in poverty are trying to help themselves but are being stopped by unfair trade rules. If we used trade rules effectively, we could really make poverty history." CAFOD's partner, Eliud Ngunjiri, director of Kenyan-based agricultural development organisation, RODI (Resources Orientated Development Initiative), was also at the lobby. He told supporters: "Kenya knows what happens when poor countries are asked to open their markets as we have experienced its effects twice in the last 30 years. The result then was to plunge the country and its vulnerable people into abject poverty. I have no reason to believe the result will be any different today." And as a rallying call to campaigners he said: "Tell your government and your business community not to force free trade on developing countries. Let's push for fairness in international markets."
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