Christian Aid has praised the UK’s Christmas spirit as the international development charity publishes new poll finds 8 in 10 (84%) in UK are ready to take action personal this Christmas to fight against the climate crisis.
Coinciding with the launch of Christmas call from Christian Aid To help climate-stricken South Sudan, poll shows that about half (55%) would stop using non-recyclable wrapping paper and stop donating plastic toys (47%) to help fight against the climate crisis.
In a year that has seen the COP26 climate conference held in Glasgow, another four in ten (43%) are said to be willing to give up Christmas cookies while those aged 18-34 are the most likely to take action, almost 9 in 10 (89%).
John Sentamu, the former Archbishop of York, now Baron Sentamu of Lindisfarne and Masooli and new president of Christian Aid, said: âWe now know that the climate crisis is wreaking havoc on our global home. We are therefore happy that the British public are ready to make personal sacrifices for the good of all. Christmas is a time of joy and celebration for many, but as Christians we never lose sight of our neighbors near and far who may be suffering, especially those who are on the front lines of a crisis that they are not. did not do much to provoke.
âAnd while we know these personal actions aren’t going to stop climate change on their own, they show that people are determined to act. What we need now is for the richer countries to provide the funding needed to finance long-term, sustainable solutions to tackle climate change once and for all. ”
The poll for Christian Aid also found that reports, like those from South Sudan which recently suffered its worst floods in 60 years, make nearly seven in 10 Britons (68%) more concerned about the climate crisis.
According to the UN, more than 700,000 people have been affected in South Sudan by relentless flooding due to weeks of heavy rains. Homes were washed away, farmland devastated, and families and livestock were forced to seek safety.
Christian Aid, together with its local partner African Aid Development (ADA), is providing life-saving emergency aid including blankets, mosquito nets, water purification tablets and cash to families affected by flooding in Fangak County, Jonglei State.
Together with local partner UNIDOR, Christian Aid is also using recent Scottish government funding to provide agricultural seeds, tools and fishing kits to families in Unity State facing a food crisis due to the impact of the floods on their crops.
James Wani, Christian Aid Country Director in South Sudan, said: âThe extent of the flooding is unprecedented and overwhelming. People lost their crops and their livestock. When the water finally recedes, people will return to nothing. ”
Mr. Wani added: âSouth Sudan has experienced flooding for three consecutive years, but the intensity continues to increase. We are only going to see the hunger crisis intensify in the next few months. ”
One of the many people Christian Aid helps is Adut Mariu, a woman who lives in the village of Biet in northern Bahr El Ghazel, South Sudan. She is married and has three children.
For a long time, Adut had no choice but to give dirty water to his children. âWe desperately needed it,â Adut said. âTo take care of my children, they had to drink the dirty water from the river. Water has many diseases. There is cow dung, there is donkey dung … People wash there too.
Last year floods devastated homes and livelihoods. Adut explains: âThis village was under water. No one could move. The traders who went to the market could not find the way back. Children who could go to school stopped going. It destroyed everything. ”
Thanks to donations, the community of Adut was able to build a borehole to extract water from a natural spring with the support of Christian Aid’s local partner, SPEDP. âIt’s disease free. We drink it with peace of mind, âAdut said.
John Sentamu added, âWith our Christmas presents, we can help more mothers like Adut in South Sudan face the impossible choice between dirty water or none at all. Any small donation could help communities build boreholes, so more parents can provide clean water for their children regardless of the weather. They could provide the seeds, tools and training needed to rejuvenate flood-damaged land so more families can enjoy nutritious food.
âThis Christmas, please do what you can to help those affected by the climate-related flooding in South Sudan. ”
The public can help Christian Aid fight extreme hunger in South Sudan and around the world by donating what they can to their Christmas Appeal to caid.org.uk/Christmas.
Notes to editor:
John Sentamu, the former Archbishop of York and new chairman of Christian Aid, is available for broadcast interviews. For images and videos of Adut Mariu, please visit the Christian Aid website here.
A methodological note:
Savanta surveyed 2,197 UK adults online from December 3 to 5, 2021. The data has been weighted to be nationally representative of UK adults by age, sex, region, employment status and social level. Savanta is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
The challenge in South Sudan:
The climate crisis is leaving people hungry, homeless and heartbroken. Those living in South Sudan are particularly vulnerable. Combined with years of conflict and the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a growing humanitarian and food crisis.
More severe and frequent floods and droughts have seriously affected lives. In 2020 alone, 1 million people were affected by flooding. Most communities say that flooding is the biggest and most likely risk they face. *
Floods and droughts have dramatic effects on health, access to nutritious food and clean water, and livelihoods. Combined with the ongoing conflict and the economic fallout from Covid-19, there is widespread displacement and a growing food crisis in South Sudan.
Some of the most vulnerable communities are those dependent on agriculture, such as in the northern state of Bahr el Ghazal in northwestern South Sudan.
Floods last year left families in the area without adequate food, water or shelter. He killed large numbers of cattle and destroyed crops. In addition, water-borne illnesses have increased due to contaminated water.
Each new climate shock exacerbates the vulnerability of these people and weakens their resolve, especially female-headed households.
* Assessment captured in the 2020/2021 South Sudan Country Team Annual Report.
Solutions for South Sudan:
Christian Aid’s Humanitarian Program Plan (HPP) in South Sudan is helping people in the northern state of Bahr el Ghazal weather the climate crisis.
The project is carried out through our local partner, Support for Peace and Education Development Program (SPEDP).
The project takes a holistic approach to improve the well-being and resilience of people.
The main activity is the rehabilitation and construction of boreholes that provide drinking water to communities, regardless of the weather.
Along with these activities, the project also shares messages to improve hygiene and sanitation practices; provides agricultural training, tools and seeds to improve food security; show communities how to build dikes to protect their homes from flooding; and provides opportunities to improve livelihoods through savings and loan groups (VSLAs) and training.
To date, the project has helped nearly 32,000 people access safe drinking water and provided some 1,900 households with agricultural support.
But the need in these communities is still great. In many places, boreholes serve three times as many people as they should, and levees battle the ferocity of some storms.