Concern responds to new devastating COVID-19 wave in Malawi
Ireland’s largest aid organisation is responding to a devastating new rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths in Malawi where there is a critical shortage of medical oxygen.
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Concern Worldwide is urging the Irish electorate to prioritise issues which impact directly on the world’s most vulnerable people when engaging with candidates and political parties during the current General Election campaign.
“Political decisions made in Ireland can have a profound impact on some of the world’s poorest people,” Concern Worldwide CEO Dominic MacSorley said. “General Elections provide an opportunity to highlight what is important to you as a voter. In 2020, no one should want to live in a world where 800 million people go hungry every day where the survival of millions of poor people is destroyed by climate change or conflict.”
Concern is urging its supporters to raise the following key issues with all General Election candidates
By 2030, half a billion people will be living in extreme poverty without major policy shifts especially in responding to the global climate emergency. “The people Concern works with in many lower-income countries bear little responsibility for climate change, yet they are suffering the most,” Mr MacSorley said. “Climate chaos is jeopardising food production, forcing people off their land, stressing services and resources like clean water and fuelling conflict.
“Climate change is not something that will occur in the future. For millions around the world climate change has a devastating impact on their lives today,” he said.
The next government needs to deliver much faster action to avert climate breakdown. It must deliver annual reductions in climate-polluting emissions of at least 8% a year over the lifetime of the next Government.
Ireland must contribute its fair share to international climate finance, prioritising public finance for adaptation in the poorest countries.
Conflict displaces millions of people every year. The level of destruction caused by conflict results in people losing their homes, communities and livelihoods. There are currently 70.8 million people forcibly displaced worldwide, and 37,000 people are forced to flee their homes every day due to conflict or persecution.
We might not feel that Ireland can play a role in global peace but it already does and this needs to be strengthened. Ireland must use its seat at the table at the European Union and its a vote at the United Nations to promote peace, sustainable development and equality.
Ireland’s new development policy A Better World is the most ambitious and far-reaching of our generation. With a clear focus on reaching those ‘furthest behind first’ the policy commits to building a better world with the poorest and most vulnerable at the centre.
“In a world where conflict and climate change have pushed the numbers of people in need to unprecedented levels, it is vital that as a nation we retain our compassion and our commitment to overseas aid and a better world,” Mr MacSorley said.
The next Government must implement Ireland’s foreign development policy A Better World and commit to reaching 0.7% of Gross National Income in overseas development aid by 2030.
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