Well, after being one of 500 that dressed up as the Chancellor yesterday in a rather freakish media stunt, looks like the real George was listening (somewhat), and has confirmed that the UK will now give 0.7% of GNI to overseas aid - a historic moment that many of us will be glad to hear.
However, as our new campaign Seeding Change highlights, there are some real questions over the assumed positive impact of this money, particularly when it comes to food-related issues such as land and seeds. SPEAK believes that
All food should be grown and shared
as though people and planet mattered.
On one hand, it is really exciting to see the UK finally standing up to its 40 year-old promise of giving 0.7% aid, since many of us called on Osborne to do just that. After all, aid has done many good things, as this amusing video reminds us. Yet we want to go further, and ensure that DfID (the guys that actually channel the 0.7% to development projects) actually use it to help grow food in ways that support the producers themselves and conserve the land it's grown upon. We want to SPEAK UP for food justice: for promotion of a food system that takes care of God's earth and God's people.
- PLEASE write to Justine Greening MP now, to ask her to use the 0.7% justly. There is a example letter on p.14 of the Seeding Change booklet that you can download here.
- If you received a pack of 'seed squares' at Soundcheck, why not plant one and watch justice germinate - like folks from Bristol SPEAK in the picture above? (If you didn't get any and you want some, please email email@example.com)
- Could you or anyone else you know be the next SPEAK Campaigns Officer? Give it a pray and a think and a dream, who knows!
- Start praying more regularly around issues of global injustice in our food system - such as food waste, food speculation, land grabs, etc. There's a neat in grace in the back of the Seeding Change booklet to get you started!
- Give thanks for a campaigns success - 0.7% aid! (If that's your sort of thing!)
- However, Osborne didn't use the Budget to ensure corporate transparency so that developing countries could collect more tax - something our latest Pray & Post card really focuses on. This means we need to keep praying for a strong international tax agreement come the G8 in June.
- Unfortunately, we also witnessed a pretty dire Budget from an environmental perspective. Let's keep up the pressure by supporting a green economy in the upcoming Energy Bill!