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Saturday, March 25, 2017
CAFOD keeps Africa in the spotlight
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¬†As five African countries prepare for this year's Football World Cup, in Germany, CAFOD is kick starting a new fundraising initiative designed to keep Africa firmly in the spotlight. Focusafrica calls on parishes in England and Wales to raise £1 million to help tackle the urgent and ongoing causes of poverty facing Africa, Africans and CAFOD's African partners. Angola is one of the African football teams preparing for their first ever Football World Cup appearance. It is a dream come true for Angolans who have longed to see their country play in the international competition. Yet, this is a country struggling to tackle the physical, social and political legacy of nearly 40 years of internal conflict that has taken a massive toll on a country where the average life expectancy is just 41 years of age. One of Africa's major oil producers Angola is rich in oil and gas petroleum reserves. Due to rising oil prices, the Angolan Government has declared that it received a total of US$5,695 billion in 2004. According to last year's UN Millennium Development Goal Report on Angola, 66 per cent of the people live below the poverty and 26 per cent live in extreme poverty. The daily reality for many Angolans is inadequate access to clean water and poor sanitation. These poor living conditions have been blamed for contributing to the recent cholera outbreaks across the country. There have been over 1,500 deaths in the space of three months from the disease. Judith Parke, Head of CAFOD's Community Fundraising said: "2005 was hailed as the year for Africa, from the Commission for Africa Report to the G8 Summit in Scotland, Live8 concerts across the UK and the 20th anniversary of Live Aid. "This year's Focusafrica Scheme calls on CAFOD supporters to remain focused on alleviating the root causes of poverty affecting millions of people on the African continent." CAFOD partners in Angola are working on social and economic justice issues, supporting the training of Angolan citizens to research their situation thoroughly, in order to enable them to engage with the national debate on how the country's wealth is spent, so that it benefits all Angolans. Spokeswoman Judith Parke said: "Focusafrica is a scheme, whereby ordinary people here in the UK can support ordinary people in Africa, making sure that the issues of poverty they face every day are not forgotten."
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