Mother and Child in Lebanon. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Lebanon after Wednesday’s terrible explosion at Beirut Port. Photo: ACT Alliance/Natalie Naccache
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Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Lebanon after Wednesday’s terrible explosion at Beirut Port. We have written to the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees Lebanon and an emergency grant of $9,000 to be used where it is most needed. Executive Director of DSPR Dr Bernard Sabella has written to tell us staff are safe. ACT Lebanon has identified housing/shelter, food security, health including psychosocial, and cash as needs. Churches and monasteries are providing shelter. More details will be available once the Rapid Assessment is complete. If you can help, please donate to our Lebanon Recovery Appeal.
August 6 marked the 75th anniversary of the dropping of the first nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. Please pray with us on Peace Sunday and Nagasaki Day, 9 August, especially for those affected by nuclear bombs and tests.
Rev Dr Peter Matheson has kindly contributed a reflection to the worship resources, “And no one shall make them afraid”. There are ideas for action, including on the global campaign for Peace on the Korean Peninsula and military spending.
More Money Needed for Aid
CWS, Oxfam and World Vision have launched Big Hearts Connected World, a campaign for a 20% increase in the New Zealand aid budget. Part of our response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for climate action and decent livelihoods, and the global recession, Big Hearts is asking the next government to commit to a Collective Resilience Plan. The plan includes putting in place steps to achieve the agreement to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income on aid and a doubling of funding for global climate action.
Last year, Official Development Assistance or government spending was 0.28%, about $860 million. We need to spend more to protect people’s health and livelihoods from Covid-19. The United Nations reports 265 million people could face starvation by the end of the year and last month launched a NZ$15.7 billion Coronavirus appeal, the largest ever.
Please sign the petition and ask local candidates for their support.
Debt limits Covid-19 response in 73 Countries
G20 finance ministers failed to agree to debt cancellation as one strategy to free up funding for the Covid-19 response. The world’s poorest countries are paying US$92 million a day that could be used to halt the spread of Covid-19 in 73 countries eligible for the Debt Service Suspension Initiative which postpones rather than cancels debt.
We give thanks for the life of Gilberto Aguirre, a special friend, and former staff member of CEPAD, Nicaragua. With CEPAD director, Damaris Albuquerque he visited Aotearoa New Zealand in 2006. He was always a teacher, keen to share what he knew with good humour on Radio CEPAD and in person.
End Child Labour
CWS welcomed news that all 187 United Nations members had ratified ILO (International Labour Organisation) Convention 182, to protect children from the worst forms of child labour.
CWS, Trade Aid and Caritas presented a petition to parliament. We were part of Set the Children Free, a New Zealand campaign on child labour issues. Our Indian partners work with communities and children to stop this exploitation, estimated to involve 152 million children globally. Children’s clubs teach others about the dangers.
Responding to Covid-19
Our partners have met urgent needs for food, hygiene kits, water, and information. Afraid of what could happen, many people have looked to them for support and advocacy. Thanks to your donations, we have made grants totalling $78,920 at the end of our financial year from the Coronavirus Emergency Appeal and emergency funding for DSPR across the five areas where they work including Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine, EKTA, LAW Trust/Neythal and Women Development Resource Centre in Tamil Nadu, India, Monlar and the Women’s Centre in Sri Lanka, Institut Culturel Karl Lévêque in Haiti, Maridi Service Agency in South Sudan, National Garment Workers Federation in Bangladesh and CEPAD (Council of Protestant Churches of Nicaragua).
In Nicaragua, the boy (pictured) ran home to give his sister her mask after receiving a hygiene kit.
Just for You
Lakshmi has always had to work hard, but now at 86 years old, she is dependent on the kindness of others. So, when young women from CWS partner, EKTA, arrived at her door she could not believe her good fortune. Read the Winter Story, Just for you and donate to the Winter Appeal so our partners can help others with food and protection. Please contact Jordyn if you would like copies to share.
Increase in Global Hunger
The Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates almost 690 million people were hungry in 2019, up from 10 million in 2018. Covid-19 could push another 130 million into hunger this year.
Join Operation Refugee
A big thank you to everyone who has joined Operation Refugee so far. At the suggestion of our chef Grant Allen, we have introduced hosting a Pop-up Banquet as a new activity. One of our youngest participants, Maia is organising a special meal for neighbours, friends and family.
Syrian refugees need food or cash vouchers, medical care and funding for education for all ages. Please sign up today or donate to Operation Refugee for the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. Operation Refugee runs until November 30. Find out more in the Kete, or contact organiser, Eric Park 022 377 6606.
CWS Update provides news, information, and stories. Reproduction of items is encouraged with attribution to CWS. Current and back issues are available.