CAFOD supporters fight hunger and HIV this Harvest Fast Day

 This Harvest, CAFOD supporters are raising money to combat the lethal combination of hunger and HIV in the developing world. The Catholic aid agency says soaring global food prices threatens to cause a new crisis in HIV treatment as many people in developing countries struggle to afford a balanced diet that is fundamental to the success of HIV drug treatment. Parishioners and school pupils across the Diocese of Westminster are holding special frugal lunches and fundraising events to raise money for CAFOD that will go towards projects that provide nutritional, as well as emotional and practical support to people with HIV. CAFOD manager for Tony Sheen said: "HIV treatment represents a tremendous hope for poor countries. It'll mean fewer children will be orphaned, fewer families plunged into poverty and poor countries will lose fewer doctors, nurses and teachers. "But there is a catch. For the drugs to work effectively, the people taking them need a regular, balanced diet, or they feel so sick they can't bear to continue the treatment. "So, in communities trapped in poverty, the struggle against hunger is a more urgent life-and-death battle than ever before. This is why we're focusing our thoughts on these people for CAFOD's Harvest Fast Day this year. "Last Harvest Westminster Diocese, raised £230,000. We're so grateful for people's generous support and hope this years' appeal will do even better." The money raised will go to CAFOD partners such as OIKOS in Mozambique. OIKOS has recruited volunteers in the district of Motaze, who help their neighbours living with HIV. They bring food parcels, fresh water, provide basic medical care as well as seeds, tools and advice on planting the vital nutritious vegetables. Since the project began not a single person in the district has died of hunger. With more to eat and a greater variety of food, people are healthier than before and able to start providing for themselves and others. To provide a seed pack for one family so they can grow lettuce, tomatoes, onions, carrots, peppers and pumpkins costs £12.70, and feed them for one year. Just £50 buys a bicycle for the volunteers to travel and visit more people in need of support. Miqulina Sitoe, living with HIV in Mozambique said: "The medicines for HIV are strong, and we need to eat well for them to be effective. I would like to thank people for the help they have given."

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