Saturday, March 14, 2009

Red Nose Day

This Friday past was the annual Comic Relief day, where people don red noses and do all sorts of funny things to raise cash for the needy. One figure I have seen says the total raised so far is close to £58 million; this Comic Relief might very well go on to be a record breaker.

There are some things worth considering:

- Comic Relief has run since 1988, raising some £600 million

- In November, there will be Children in Need: this has raised some £500 million since 1980.

- the military budget for the UK alone was close to $60 billion (2006 figures).

- 3.8 million children in Britain live in relative poverty (2007 figures).

1 comment:

ajohnstone said...

The weakness of the pound has left charities struggling to deliver aid to some of the world's poorest countries: this year's staggering Comic Relief total will actually buy less aid than in 2007, when the charity extravaganza raised £18m less. Most UK charities deal in US dollars in their overseas operations. This year's Comic Relief has so far raised £58m, which equates to $80m. In 2007 the £40.5m total bought $82m.

ActionAid UK, said: "Across the board in the last six to nine months the currencies of the countries that we have been working in have been appreciating, so our purchasing power has been dropping by about 20 per cent."

A year ago, ActionAid Ethiopia planned to spend £68,000 to provide water to 21,048 people. But the plummeting international value of the pound and global price rises affecting the cost of piping meant the same £68,000 in 2009 only allowed the charity to build a pump and well system that could reach just 6,250 people.

Barbara Stocking, chief executive of Oxfam sid "Last year, increased food and fuel prices pushed more than 100 million more people into hunger, taking the global total to nearly one billion. Now there is a very real danger that governments around the world will use the downturn as an excuse to cut aid."

just can't escape the effects of capitalism , can you ?