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Another chance to live and thrive

Amina Sani lost everything when Boko Haram attacked her village in 2015. Like many other people living in Gora, Shani Borno State Nigeria, Amina and her family returned to their village with all means of livelihood gone, everything destroyed. As a mother of 7, making a living as a potter proved hard. So, when Amina was enlisted to be part of a saving and loans scheme, and trained in business skills, supported by Christian Aid and WFP, she was extremely grateful. ‘May Christian Aid live long’. Amina prays. To support her children, Amina has remained extremely committed to the saving and loans scheme. With an initial seed fund of N12,000, Amina borrowed a further N5,000 from friends, just enough to start a grain business. Within weeks of buying and selling grain, Amina paid back her loan and invested in buying mobile network cards, which she now sells as well as grain. Now, when Amina sells her grain, she makes N1,000 per bag. The mobile network cards are also profitable, and she makes 10% profit on her investments in this area of her business. ‘Being a member of Christian Aid’s saving and loans scheme was a turning point in my life’, Amina says. She explains that making clay and pottery was previously not profitable, and that her new business has made life much easier for her and for her family. It has given her another chance to live and thrive. ‘My children now eat well’ Amina explains, and she is happy that her last child is active and happy. Amina is one of many women from Gora Village, Shani Borno State who have turned their lives around through the support of this project.

Giving Hope to People in Conflict

Christian Aid Blanket Supplementary Feeding Program (BSFP) project provided immediate life-saving food and nutrition assistance to breast-feeding and children under the age of five years.

Questionable Values? Policy Report

Why we believe that it is time to stop defending the indefensible across all the world’s tax havens. Following the hurricanes Irma and Maria that devastated a number of Caribbean islands in September this year, the focus has rightly been on supporting the hardest hit and those in greatest need. But as the rebuilding effort develops, many are starting to think more deeply about the long-term sustainability of these islands’ economies, and their ability to protect and provide for their populations in an economically and climatically uncertain future. What type of jobs, and what type of economy, should places such as the British Virgin Islands (BVI) be looking to build? This is a question that extends beyond the storm-hit Caribbean. Defensive measures against tax evasion and avoidance are on the rise in the US, the EU and emerging economies, driven in part by the exposure of these activities in successive leaks of information (most recently, the Paradise Papers). Such developments call into question the sustainability of any economic model that relies on providing various combinations of secrecy and low taxation. So far, many small offshore centres, and their supporters, have largely reacted defensively to the threat of change, arguing that media coverage has unfairly maligned ‘tax havens’; that the problem is not as large as portrayed; and that they are already instituting tax and transparency standards better than many large ‘onshore’ economies. However, careful scrutiny of one of the most comprehensive efforts to explain the role of international finance centres and to illustrate the impact that such a territory has on the global economy – the prominent report that the government-backed financial lobby group, BVI Finance, commissioned this year from consultancy firm Capital Economics – demonstrates major weaknesses in the arguments and conclusions presented, and suggests to us that such defences are more concerned with maintaining the status quo than a genuine concern for the wider global economy. Our analysis of the Capital Economics report is an example of why we believe that it is time to stop defending the indefensible across all the world’s tax havens. With public demand building for new regulation, and the ever-present threat of further mass leaks, the UK Government needs to initiate a serious discussion about alternative economic pathways for the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies. Alternative futures for offshore tax havens are not only vital for the poorest countries of the world that lose tax revenues each year to the offshore system, but also for the ordinary women and men in places like the BVI, for whom a secure future is dependent on the creation of robust, equitable and sustainable economies.

Benefits? Tax Incentives in Latin America and the Caribbean (Spanish)

Overview of the use of tax incentives that analyses whether or not tax incentives bring benefits to countries and communities.(Spanish)

Christian Aid Nigeria Humanitarian Action: making a difference in 45 days

A report on Christian Aid's humanitarian intervention in North Central Nigeria to improve the living conditions of internally displaced people.

Religion and the Adolescent Girl

The study aims to understand and document how religious and traditional leaders and institutions are influencing and reinforcing both positive and negative attitudes and behaviours towards adolescent girls' issues in Kaduna State, Nigeria.