The cost-of-living increases hit a peak last Friday, 1 April 2022, impacting every household in the UK. Some have named it “Bleak Friday”, with energy bills soaring by 54%, water bills increasing 2%, and council tax up by 4%. Food prices are also growing rapidly, up by 4.3% in February – the highest rise since September 2013.
It’s people on low incomes, the elderly and people living with a disability, with big hearts and much to contribute, who are feeling the financial strain the most.
We here at Compassion UK understand the impact of such increases. Not only for our supporters who may now struggle to meet their family budgets for the first time but also for the 356 million children worldwide living on less than $2.15 a day.
The rapid increase in the cost of living is not just a crisis in the UK. It’s become a global concern. The UN declared that social conditions in many countries are now “at a breaking point”.
“We are extremely concerned about the millions of people in this region who are already struggling to access enough food because of a toxic combination of conflict, climate change and the economic aftermath of Covid-19,” says Corinne Fleischer WFP regional director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“This crisis is creating shock waves in the food markets that touch every home in this region. No one is spared.”
In Sri Lanka, crippling food and fuel shortages saw many people take to the streets, prompting key members of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s cabinet to offer their resignation late on Sunday, 3 April.
Russia and Ukraine are two of the top three countries that export wheat to countries in Africa. At 89%, Rwanda, for instance, relies heavily on Russian wheat imports. In Kenya, wheat prices have skyrocketed, and millers have very little access to funds.
One market vendor, Beatrice Atieno, states, “Sometimes, we go to bed hungry because life has become so expensive…bread, especially, is something I can no longer afford to buy. We eat potatoes for breakfast instead.”
COVID, conflict, social unrest and natural disasters have all contributed to the current crisis. Our Vice President of Global Programme, Sidney Muisyo explains:
“Global poverty has increased because of [the] pandemic. This means that over 190 million more people have been pushed into economic desperation…
“[But] COVID-19 is not the only challenge our world has faced.
“Conflict, social unrest, and natural disasters continue to emerge in different regions of the world. These threaten the safety of children and families…
“In Eastern Africa, we continue to support the efforts of our church partners to respond to emerging food and medical needs that have been occasioned by conflict.
“I ask you to continue praying for these countries and communities.”
In difficult and uncertain times, we’re so thankful that we can turn to our Heavenly Father, knowing that He is faithful and unchanging, and always hears us when we pray.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalms 46:1
We understand your initial decision to start this journey with your sponsored child was an important one and can offer our support should you encounter challenges in life that may affect your sponsorship. Depending on your circumstances, you have a few options before you consider ending your support. This blog explains some of the options available to you.
When the economic impact of the pandemic hit and some sponsorships were cancelled, some of our incredible sponsors responded with generosity to cover the lost donations.
They committed to supporting another child, gave to our interventions, or increased their donation amounts to ensure children received the support they needed. We could not thank them enough for their heart for children living in poverty around the world.
If, and only if you can, we’d be grateful if you’d consider supporting us in this way.
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Compassion UK Christian Child Development, registered charity in England and Wales (1077216) and Scotland (SC045059). A company limited by guarantee, Registered in England and Wales company number 03719092. Registered address: Compassion House, Barley Way, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 2UT.