Christian World Service is seeking more signatures for a joint petition to boost overseas aid and increase funding for climate action. The petition will be presented to parliament in mid-March as part of a joint campaign to put New Zealand’s commitment to countries most vulnerable to climate change and with the lowest incomes.
When the Covid-19 outbreak reached pandemic levels, the need for action to protect global health became urgent. Less obvious at first was its economic affects. Over the last year since the pandemic was declared, many more people have found it harder to survive. Earlier this year, the World Bank released figures predicting up to 124 million more people would find themselves living in extreme poverty, defined as US$1.90 a day, the first rise in many years.
“When the government is making the final decisions about how our taxes should be spent, we want to make sure an increase for overseas aid and climate action is in the budget. There are people without adequate food, housing and medical care in Aotearoa New Zealand but that does not stop us asking for more aid as well,” says Pauline McKay, National Director.
“More resources are needed to ensure people trapped between Covid-19, climate change and sometimes conflict can access their rights to the basic necessities of life,” she adds.
On top of the global health crisis, neighbouring countries in the Pacific are on the frontlines of climate change. With the sea level rising every day and weather events getting more extreme, Pacific peoples are already enduring the harshest impacts of climate destruction. New Zealand’s funding on climate action overseas is languishing at the bottom of the pack among other high-income countries.
Right now, the government is considering the budget for overseas aid and climate adaptation funding for the next three years. The Big Hearts Connected World Coalition wants to take a powerful message from voters to ensure New Zealand steps up support for the world’s poorest countries.
CWS is grateful to those people who have already signed this petition.
The Big Hearts Connected World Coalition is made up of the Anglican Movement of the Diocese of Wellington, Christian World Service, Oxfam and World Vision.
Please sign the petition at bighearts.org.nz and invite others to do likewise.
February 26, 2021