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We still care

It’s true, times are tough here in Ireland. But does that mean we care any less about people living in severe poverty?

This morning, myself and other representatives from Ireland’s aid organisations gathered outside the Department of Finance. We were there to show, empathically, that we do still care.

There were 222 of us in total (see some photos of us below). This number represented the €222 million cut from the aid budget, the effects of which are already being felt around the world.

Callous indifference?

We were calling on the government to protect its aid programme. If more cuts are made, Ireland will be in serious danger of breaking its promise to the world’s poorest countries. As a recent editorial in the Irish Times said, “more cuts would turn painful necessity into callous indifference.”

Problems greater than our own

Of course, this is a divisive issue. Some people believe that, in today’s economic climate, we should turn our gaze inwards. However, though we may not like to admit it, many countries are facing problems far more severe than our own.

For instance, in just the last few months, conflict in Pakistan forced almost two million people from their homes.

In Nairobi’s slums, over two million people are living in dire poverty. For most of us in Ireland, the struggles they face every day are beyond comprehension.

Add your voice

At the end of this morning’s event, Hanz Zommer, the head of Dóchas, said a few words. He asked us to keep pressure on the government, as they are beginning to listen.

One way you can do this is through the website WeDoCare.ie. This site makes it easy to send a message to the government, urging them to keep Ireland’s aid promise.

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