Rebuilding. Rebooting. Rethinking. Renewing.
We’ve heard these words so many times in the last couple of months. A lot of energy is being spent on working towards a better future in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve been doing a lot of thinking at Christian Aid too.
There’s no denying that the whole of humanity – you, me, our family, friends, neighbours and crucially our global neighbours - is at a crossroads. Our next steps have never been more important.
In the months ahead, fundamental decisions will be made about the kind of world we want to live in. Failure to seize the opportunity to build back better will be far more costly than any recovery plan.
What does a better future look like? We are in an era of unprecedented neighbourliness. Communities across Scotland have rallied together during this crisis, looking after our sisters and brothers in new and innovative ways. We need to keep on looking out for our global neighbours too.
We have just published a report which spells out, in depth and in detail, the ways in which this pandemic affects our neighbours living in the countries in which Christian Aid works.
In India, 80 million migrant workers have lost employment in cities, leaving them hungry and homeless and their families without income. In parts of Afghanistan, wheat prices have risen by 20%.
Routine healthcare, such as immunisation and maternity care, has been severely disrupted. In many countries, the disruption to non-COVID-related healthcare could cause more deaths than the virus itself.
We need to build back better with justice. We need to build back on firm foundations so that the structures which keep people poor are replaced with a framework which supports people to flourish.
That means relieving the crippling debt of the world’s poorest countries. It means divesting from fossil fuels. It means continuing to care for our global neighbours who are reeling from the social, political and economic impact of coronavirus.
This is a big moment. But it is not beyond our reach. This Autumn, let’s take one more step along the road.