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Rory Stewarts says UK ‘morally obligated to help the poor’ at Christian Aid event

Speaking at a Christian Aid event, Rory Stewart says Britain is morally obligated to help people who are "much, much poorer than those in the UK”.

Former Secretary of State for International Development, Rory Stewart attended UK-based international NGO, Christian Aid’s 75th year anniversary event last night at St James’ Church in London.

Stewart answered journalists' questions in front of hundreds of people, concerning the Government's approach to the Department for International Development (DFID), he said:

"We all should begin with the fundamental observation of profound moral obligations towards people who are much, much poorer than Britain is. And we ought to be working morning, noon and night to think about how we can engage with those people and transform their lives. So I am not a charity begins at home person."

Concerning the recent speculation of the DFID to be folded into the Foreign Office, Stewart said he'd prefer the DFID to take over the Foreign Office because in his opinion "DFID has the skills the Foreign Office doesn’t."

Stewart, who is standing as an independent candidate to be mayor of London, interpreted that when it comes to climate, Britain must take the global lead, while warning against "lack of political will, lack of energy, lack of imagination and lack of dedication."

Speaking on Syria, he said: "The cost to the Syrian people has been beyond imagining. Our inability to be able to actually understand and be honest about the Islamist presence and the relationship between them and the Syrian army, the miscalculations and the betrayal of the Kurdish population around north-east Syria… is just horrifying."

Christian Aid's chief executive Amanda Khozi Mukwashi also attended the event, where she said: "As Christian Aid, having been working in this area of relief and development for the last 75 years, we have stayed the course in South Sudan, Afghanistan, in DRC, in the Middle East. 

“We know that even where there is shrinking civil society space and our ability to actually function and deliver in humanitarian situations is threatened, we still choose every time, every day, to be on the side of the downtrodden. And that is who Christian Aid is."

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