UK Charity Makes Urgent Funding Appeal in Economic Downturn

May 2009 photo of recipients of Christian Aid's support in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Christian Aid partner FFP is providing Jeremie (left) with medication; they have placed him with a foster mother and they provide regular home visits to check he is doing ok. "I can't understand why my mother died of HIV, and the only thought I have is of her abandoning me. FFP found somewhere for me to live and this is my home now. I like to be here and I'm happy." (Photo: Christian Aid)

UK-based charity Christian Aid has made an urgent appeal to its supporters in order to raise funds for its overseas work in the upcoming year.

The agency, which has been seriously affected by the global recession, is seeking to raise at least £1.5 million (approximately $2.4 million) by February 19 in order to fulfill its planned work in educational, health and food services for 2010 and 2011. Without the funds, the charity says that "very difficult decisions will need to be made" about which countries they can continue to support.

 "We understand the recession is hitting people in the UK, and this has been reflected in donations this year, however many of the people we work with in developing countries were already trying to survive on $1 a day before the financial crisis hit," Christian Aid International Director Paul Valentin said.

"Any increase, however small, in food and fuel prices mean they may be unable to afford the basics and need our support more than ever."

"Christian Aid usually only launches appeals in response to emergencies but the harsh reality is we need to raise additional funds to allow us to meet our commitments to poor communities around the world in 2010/11," Valentin continued.

"Without these funds some very difficult decisions will need to be made before the new financial year so we are appealing to the generosity of our loyal supporters to make an exceptional cash donation."

Established after World War II as Christian Reconstruction in Europe, Christian Aid currently works with 650 overseas partners in 50 countries to combat poverty. Its sponsors include over 40 Protestant and Orthodox churches in Britain.

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