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MP Breifing: Climate and Debt 2021

Use this briefing to speak to your local MP about climate justice and debt cancellation

A Rights-Based Economy Report

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on the fundamental injustice at the core of our current economic model, which results in scarcity for the many, and unimaginable wealth for the few. The economic fallout from the pandemic and the inadequacy of governments’ responses to it are prompting more and more people to question the morality of an economic system which for decades has placed the market at the centre of all human interactions, measuring progress and development solely in terms of economic growth. In this publication, the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) and Christian Aid – two international organisations working for human rights and economic justice – ask: what would it would look like if we had an economy based on human rights?

Under the radar

Private sector debt and coronavirus in developing countries The G20 must step in and compel private creditors to cancel the debts of developing countries to avoid the loss of many more lives. In the global south, coronavirus is leaving a trail of devastation - from widespread loss of life from the virus itself, to huge economic disruption that has left hundreds of millions of people, who were already struggling to make ends meet, without jobs or sufficient food. Despite this huge economic shock, many developing countries are continuing to pay off debts to rich countries, public institutions like the World Bank and IMF, and some of the richest banks and hedge funds in the world. This means they have less money to meet the immediate needs of the population. This briefing aims to shine a light on the debt owed to private creditors by five African countries - Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Zambia - and it outlines the steps which the G20 needs to take immediately to avert further economic chaos. It highlights the central role of enormous financial corporations like BlackRock, HSBC, Goldman Sachs, Legal & General, JP Morgan and UBS, which have become increasingly important in the world of sovereign debt. Private creditors’ share of the foreign debts of low- and lower-middle income governments increased from 25% in 2010 to 47% in 2018.1 Multi-trillion dollar asset manager BlackRock alone holds close to US$1 billion of ‘Eurobonds’ in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Zambia through a number of funds.

Cancel the Debt Lobbies Guide

Get involved today using this virtual lobby guide for debt cancellation for the most vulnerable countries in the world

Cancel the Debt supporter toolkit

Explore how you can take part in this campaign to cancel the debt of poor countries

Illicit drugs and tough trade-offs in war-to-peace transitions

Millions of marginalised people rely on illicit drug economies - often deeply intertwined with armed conflicts - for their survival. But Agenda 2030, particularly Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, makes no mention of illicit drug economies. It is clear that the war on drugs has not worked, and it is increasingly recognised that a new, development-based approach to tackling illicit economies is needed. But at present, the evidence base to inform such policies is weak. This report presents evidence on why illicit drugs are a development issue and why they matter for peacebuilding, before discussing the problem with current approaches, and the implications for drugs, peacebuilding and development policy. Report authors: Ross Eventon and Eric Gutierrez

Trapped in illicit finance

The world faces some of the most serious economic, environmental, social and political challenges it ever has. Across the world, citizens are calling for governments to implement policies to address these issues. Again, and again, governments tell them the same thing: “we don’t have the money”. At the same time, it’s a fact that governments worldwide tolerate widespread tax evasion and avoidance – and that malevolent actors routinely steal from government funds. Indeed, it is estimated that $416bn is lost every year to illicit financial flows (IFFs) – illegal or harmful movements of money or capital from one country to another. In this report, Christian Aid and our partners propose a simple solution for plugging some of this funding gap: we must stop tolerating the abusive, unethical and immoral IFFs that rob the poor to enrich the wealthy.

Syrian Civil Society: A closing door report

This report seeks to give a truer view of Syrian civil society, giving a voice to people who have often been mentioned only as a footnote to atrocities, as aid workers killed in a shelling, or vilified as terrorists in the narratives of the government and its allies. Since March 2011, Syria has experienced one of the bloodiest and cruellest conflicts of recent times. Hundreds of thousands have been killed and hundreds of thousands more injured.  But while these grim figures have been repeated in the western media frequently, less often told is the story of the Syrians who did everything in their power to counter this.  Against the backdrop of conflict arose an active Syrian civil society – Syrians on the ground who, more often than not, had no previous experience in this sector. Syrians who came from a society whose government allowed no space for civil society to grow: and yet it did. But as civil society’s space is being squeezed worldwide, to grasp the potential for Syrian civil society we must act now. The door is already closing and it will slam shut, returning the country to the pre-2011 hostile environment where civil society groups faced being shut down and their members and volunteers risked being arrested or imprisoned if they were perceived to challenge the state. This report is an appeal and a challenge. Will the international community support the Syrians who recognise the difficulty of the task they face?

Keeping the SDGs on track

Detailing how the three basic SDG principles can be put into practice by improving accountability mechanisms under the High Level Political Forum .

Hunger Strike: The climate and food vulnerability index

The Climate and Food Vulnerability Index shows how the countries most impacted by food insecurity are the least responsible for the climate change which drives it.   The top 10 most insecure countries combined generate just 0.08% of global CO2 emissions. Burundi is both the most food insecure country in the world and has the smallest carbon footprint per person.

Keeping hope alive: IOPT case study

Without an explicit focus on peace, there can be no sustainable development. This case study about Christian Aid's work on peace in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, alongside the accompanying reports, shares some of our story of taking peace seriously. Throughout our work in providing humanitarian assistance and long-term development support, it has become clear that we cannot ignore the reality of violence. Peace and justice matter to us as a faith-based organisation and we seek to respond to real challenges of building peace with integrity, respect, courage and hope. From Violence to Peace lays down our hopeful vision that a more peaceful reality free from poverty, violence and injustice is possible. This Study shares key examples of impact and some things we’ve learnt along the way. From conflict to peace in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory Palestinian civilians living in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory (IoPt) face discrimination and systematic denial of human rights. Ongoing occupation by Israel results in chronic insecurity that routinely manifests in violence.   In the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), forced displacement, home demolitions, Israeli settler violence and excessive use of force are commonplace. In Gaza, blockades by Israel and Egypt and the internal Palestinian split (ongoing since 2007) drive violence, and young people and women are particularly vulnerable. In Israel, Palestinian citizens make up 20% of the population and are discriminated against, resulting in deprivation and even forcible displacement. In Israel, 49% of Palestinians live in poverty; the West Bank economy is dependent on Israel’s and is propped up by international aid; and the World Bank describes Gaza’s economy as in ‘free fall’, noting that it is ‘an alarming situation with every second person living in poverty and the unemployment rate for its overwhelmingly young population at over 70%.’   Our work Christian Aid has worked in the Middle East since the 1950s. The IoPt programme currently has three areas of focus: promoting resilience, protecting human rights and transforming power to build peace. All three areas work towards a just and secure future for all people in IoPt.   Download the case study above or view the full report here

Keeping hope alive: Christian Aid's work on peace - Impact study 2019

Without an explicit focus on peace, there can be no sustainable development. This Impact Study, and accompanying case studies, share some of our story of taking peace seriously. Throughout our work in providing humanitarian assistance and long-term development support, it has become clear that we cannot ignore the reality of violence. Peace and justice matter to us as a faith-based organisation and we seek to respond to real challenges of building peace with integrity, respect, courage and hope. From Violence to Peace lays down our hopeful vision that a more peaceful reality free from poverty, violence and injustice is possible. This study shares key examples of impact and some things we’ve learnt along the way. Key facts In 2016, more countries experienced violent conflict than at any time in nearly 30 years. If current trends persist, by 2030 – the horizon set by the Sustainable Development Goals – more than half of the world’s poor will be living in countries affected by high levels of violence. (OECD). Violent conflict has spiked since 2010, with two billion people now living in countries where development outcomes are affected by fragility, conflict, and violence (World Bank, 2018). Much of this violence is due to recurring violence and protracted conflicts. It is estimated that 135 different countries have experienced conflict recurrence – a pattern that is deepening. We stand in solidarity with our local partners – households, community organisations and local leadership who live through conflict and violence first hand. We want governments, faith institutions and communities to want and work for peace in their societies and to keep hope alive. Peace is not something fluffy and aspirational. Peacebuilding can and does work.

Keeping hope alive: South Sudan case study

Without an explicit focus on peace, there can be no sustainable development. This case study about Christian Aid's work on peace in South Sudan, alongside the accompanying reports, shares some of our story of taking peace seriously. Throughout our work in providing humanitarian assistance and long-term development support, it has become clear that we cannot ignore the reality of violence. Peace and justice matter to us as a faith-based organisation and we seek to respond to real challenges of building peace with integrity, respect, courage and hope. From Violence to Peace lays down our hopeful vision that a more peaceful reality free from poverty, violence and injustice is possible. This study shares key examples of impact and some things we’ve learnt along the way. Download the case study above or view the full report here

Keeping hope alive: Colombia case study

Without an explicit focus on peace, there can be no sustainable development. This case study about Christian Aid's work on peace in Colombia, alongside the accompanying reports, shares some of our story of taking peace seriously. Throughout our work in providing humanitarian assistance and long-term development support, it has become clear that we cannot ignore the reality of violence. Peace and justice matter to us as a faith-based organisation and we seek to respond to real challenges of building peace with integrity, respect, courage and hope. From Violence to Peace lays down our hopeful vision that a more peaceful reality free from poverty, violence and injustice is possible. This study shares key examples of impact and some things we’ve learnt along the way. Download the case study above or view the full report here

Keeping hope alive: Central America case study

Without an explicit focus on peace, there can be no sustainable development. This case study about Christian Aid's work on peace in Central America, alongside the accompanying reports, shares some of our story of taking peace seriously. Throughout our work in providing humanitarian assistance and long-term development support, it has become clear that we cannot ignore the reality of violence. Peace and justice matter to us as a faith-based organisation and we seek to respond to real challenges of building peace with integrity, respect, courage and hope. From Violence to Peace lays down our hopeful vision that a more peaceful reality free from poverty, violence and injustice is possible. This study shares key examples of impact and some things we’ve learnt along the way. Download the case study above or view the full report here