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Saturday, December 10, 2016
£500 million on Easter eggs could be better spent helping the poor
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¬†Aid workers say the £500 million the UK spends on chocolate Easter Eggs each year could be used to support thousands around the world out of poverty. As supermarket shelves sigh under the weight of the 80 million chocolate eggs we buy each year, CAFOD is asking whether we'd like to buy chocolate that will be eaten by the end of the day, or use the money to buy a practical gift that will make a real difference to someone living in the developing world. CAFOD's Director, Chris Bain, said: "The £500 million we spend just on Easter confectionary is nearly £200 million more than what Kenya spent on its health budget for the whole of last year. Our chocolate Easter eating habits amount to two thirds of what Nigeria has proposed for its education budget this year. "When we start to think about things in this way, it is immediately clear that money spent on chocolate eggs could go a long way to helping people in the developing world lift themselves out of poverty." But CAFOD isn't suggesting we turn our backs on the Easter holiday tradition altogether. Instead, the agency is offering quirky, imaginative and thought-provoking alternatives to Easter gift-giving. CAFOD's World Gifts catalogue offers a variety of practical Easter gifts that will help people living in developing countries around the globe. The gifts range from chickens and cows to emergency shelter kits, seeds for farmers and even toilets. Mr Bain said: "Rather than buying chocolate eggs, World Gifts offers the opportunity to buy the real thing - a brood of chickens that will lay real eggs for a family in El Salvador. For £21 - about the cost of just 4 Easter Eggs - the family will not only have nutritious eggs to eat, but chickens and eggs to sell at the market. "For less than that special Easter Egg you might buy to treat your mum, you could buy a School Starter Kit of books, blackboards, uniforms, pens and pencils. For just £7, you can ensure children living in camps in Darfur will get an education. "These gifts really are life-changing and will be appreciated long after the chocolate has melted." All of CAFOD's World Gifts, including chickens and other livestock, are locally sourced in the recipient country. CAFOD's 2005 World Gifts catalogue raised £1.8 million. The most popular gift was the School Starter Kit. The gift that raised the most money for CAFOD was the Gift of Water. World Gifts are available all year round and not only make great Easter presents, but are perfect for Anniversaries, Birthdays and other special occasions. Order World Gifts on-line at www.cafod.org.uk/worldgifts or by phone on (FREE) 0808 14 000 14.
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