Christian Aid Week 2018 was launched this weekend with a plea for people in Belfast to again support the work of highlighting the plight of millions of people forced to flee their homes by war or natural disaster. The charity’s annual red envelope house-to-house collection will take place this week, with the appeal running from Sunday 13th to Saturday 19th May.
Today, more than 40 million people have been forced to flee by conflict, accounting for approximately two thirds of those who have had to abandon their homes. A further 24 million were forced to flee by disasters in 2016 alone. Yet, because they haven’t crossed a border, the public rarely hears about them.
Launching Christian Aid Week, Chief Executive Rosamond Bennett said: “Vast numbers of people have fled to other parts of their home countries to escape violence or disasters. They leave in fear for their lives, not knowing what lies ahead. They are frightened, traumatised and have lost all of their possessions.
“Yet, despite the huge number of people affected, as they haven’t crossed a border, these people are forgotten, receiving almost no political attention, funding or support. They are among the most vulnerable to poverty and exploitation in the world.”
This year’s Christian Aid Week focuses on Haiti, where thousands of people regularly experience some of the worst natural disasters on earth. The country is one of the poorest in the world, and a high number of its inhabitants live in precarious houses or have been unrooted from their homes entirely, placing them at great risk when another disaster strikes.
Rosamond said: “We have enjoyed tremendous support from people in Belfast in the past and I am sure we can do so again.”
To help to change lives this Christian Aid Week, support a local house-to-house collection through a Christian Aid red envelope, donate online at www.christianaid.ie or call 028 90 648133.