Ross this week attended a Christian Aid Week Reception in Parliament, to show his support for Christian Aid Week (12-18 May, caweek.org). During Christian Aid Week, the UK’s largest act of Christian witness, Ross attended the event in Parliament to find out about activities and events taking place across the UK.
This year Christian Aid Week is encouraging the British public to stand together with mums in Sierra Leone. Giving birth in Sierra Leone can be incredibly dangerous for women as their nearest health centre may be miles away, the health centre may lack the right equipment or trained healthcare workers. Coupled with this, Sierra Leone was the most affected country by the Ebola crisis, with over 14,000 people contracting Ebola and around 10% of Sierra Leone’s health professionals died by Ebola.
After the 2014 Ebola outbreak, Sierra Leone was given loans to help cope with the outbreak and this has left the country heavily indebted and this has had a major impact on public spending. As a result, Sierra Leone does not have the funds and resources needed to provide basic health services. Sierra Leone is now facing a debt crisis and funds continue to be drawn away from the healthcare services needed to tackle maternal mortality. Today, a shocking 10% of mothers in Sierra Leone die in childbirth, and 10% of children will not live to see their fifth birthday.
Christian Aid has also published a report on the human cost of the new global debt crisis, alongside the Jubilee Debt Campaign, calling on the UK government to take action internationally.
Ross said: "I was pleased to meet with Christian Aid this week, to hear about the great work that is being done across Aberdeen South to help more mums and babies in Sierra Leone have fullness of life. For millions of people around the world, Christian Aid's work provides vital support. I encourage everyone to get involved in Christian Aid Week and Christian Aid events whenever they can. I am so proud that last year my constituents of Aberdeen South raised £23,963 during Christian Aid Week alone, and I’m sure we will do just as well this year."
Daisy-Rose Srblin, Christian Aid’s Senior UK Advocacy Adviser said “For over 70 years, Christian Aid has been a champion for people’s rights, tackling injustice and advocating for global change to address the root causes of poverty. Last year well over 50,000 supporters and volunteers across the country helped raise almost £8m and this year through your support, Christian Aid will be able to do so much more. We are very grateful to Ross' support for Christian Aid’s work and to those across the country who have been able to take part in this year’s Christian Aid Week”