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World Vision

Christian children's charity releases general election calls to action

by Tola Mbakwe

The organisation has urged all candidates to invest to end violence against children around the world, protect the UK international aid budget, and keep the Department for International Development (DFID) independent.

World Vision UK wants candidates to keep the UK as a country that not only focuses on its own needs, but is committed to helping vulnerable communities across the globe.

Gavin Crowden, head of policy, advocacy and campaigns for World Vision UK highlighted the plight children face around the world due to factors including conflicts and natural disasters.

He said as the number of children displaced rises; the world faces potentially catastrophic challenges.

"Violence affects more than a billion children around the world every year – that's one in two children worldwide. About a quarter of the world's children live in conflict- and crisis- affected countries, making them especially vulnerable to abuses like child marriage, dangerous labour and sexual exploitation," he said.

"UK aid has saved countless lives in countries ill-equipped to protect citizens from humanitarian disasters. Significant progress has been made in reducing extreme poverty, yet there is still such a long way to go," Crowden said.

"Britain should be proud of its commitment to this lifesaving work, and yet overseas aid – as often during times of political uncertainty – is under threat."

World Vision UK stated that despite the "excellent reputation" of DFID as a global leader in aid and development, some are calling for the department to be merged with others.

The charity believes the move "dilute its impact, undermine accountability to the taxpayers and risk funding being diverted from the world's poorest".

Crowden added: "The most vulnerable children in the world don't have a vote, but we do. This is the most important election for a generation; Britain is at a pivotal moment in its relationship with the rest of the world. Will we become an outward-facing nation once again?

"As a Christian organisation, we believe in a just world where everyone is able to flourish. We know our supporters believe in this too – and want to see our political leaders back this up with real action. Whoever our new Prime Minister is in a few weeks' time, we want them to know this is important to the British public and must be prioritised."

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