Christian Aid promotes British solidarity fast with typhoon victims

By agency reporter
November 19, 2013

UK-based churches' global development agency Christian Aid is inviting those moved by the plight of the victims of Typhoon Haiyan to fast for a day today (Wednesday 20 November 2013), in solidarity with the leader of the Philippines delegation to the UN climate talks who has gone without food for more than a week.

Climate negotiator Yeb Sano said at the start of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference in Warsaw eight days ago that ‘in solidarity’ with those struggling to survive in the aftermath of the typhoon, he would not eat until ‘meaningful progress’ had been made towards a global climate deal.

Christian Aid Chair Dr Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, is among those fasting for a day.

He said: "I encourage people in the UK to fast on Wednesday, in solidarity with the people of the Philippines, who have suffered such horrifying and lasting losses as a result of Typhoon Haiyan."

"People everywhere need the United Nations talks on climate change to produce a result that will in time make the world a safer and more just place.

"No-one can fail to have been moved by the words of Yeb Sano, who has gone without food for more than a week as a symbol of his country’s need for a strong outcome at the talks. I myself will fast on Wednesday and hope that those who are able will do the same," Dr Williams said.

Mr Sano broke down in tears at the start of the UN conference, telling delegates: "What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness."

On Monday 18 November 2013 he told Christian Aid he was moved to hear of people in the UK fasting.

"I am extremely grateful for the acts of solidarity made by people in the UK. It is moving to know that people are standing with the people of the Philippines and supporting our efforts in getting action on climate change.

"What is encouraging about hearing that others are fasting is knowing that our message is being heard outside of this summit by normal people around the world.

"If we're going to get action on climate change it will come from the grass roots, through people doing what they can in their own communities.'

The churches' development NGO is calling on the UK’s Climate Secretary Ed Davey to push for such an outcome in Warsaw, including agreement on a clear process for rich and poor countries to share fairly between them the emissions cuts that must be made in order to avert dangerous climate change.

Christian Aid is a member of the DEC, which brings 14 leading UK aid charities together in times of crisis: ActionAid UK, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, Care International, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Plan UK, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision; all collectively raising money to reach those in need quickly.

All of DEC's members will support the appeal and 13 of the 14 members are responding either directly or through partner organisations. Donations can be made at any high street bank and at post office counters.

[Ekk/3]

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