Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Keeping the rich to their promises

Well, as some of us feared, the credit crunch is beginning to affect how the rich world is acting towards the poor world. At meetings this week at the UN, France and Canada are wobbling on commitments they've made to helping fund the millennium development goals because of economic wobbles.

You can read about it here, sign the petition and sign up to receive alerts from this intriguing sounding organisation called Avaatz, a campaign and advocacy web portal seeking to empower ordinary people to act together to have their voices heard. It looks good.

It was deeply disheartening to hear Breakfast TV's 'typical' British family responding to Gordon Brown's conference speech by saying that they didn't care what happened in other countries, they just want help to cut their fuel and food bills. They didn't speak for me. I hope they don't speak for many. But it serves as a warning that a little economic gloom can make us inward-looking and more selfish than we normally are.

It's true that I spend more at Sainsbury's now than I did last year. But I've got a full fridge and an over-full stomach. The huge hikes in the cost of basics like rice and wheat, combined with the severe weather affecting many parts of the poor world, means that more people are dying for lack of food.

Now doesn't seem a good time to be turning our backs on those in need.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I heard the family make that comment too and I was really shocked. So much for global citizenship. When the chips are down.......
A lot of work is being done on global citizenship in schools (although in Scotland we don't teach it as a subject). I wonder if the younger generation will think differently or......... Margaret x