British charities warn against inequality
10 Jun 2014 15:57
Charity organizations in Britain have warned against growing social inequality in the country while reporting a dramatic rise in the use of food banks, Press TV reports.
According to a new report by Oxfam, the Trussell Trust and Church Action on Poverty, food banks and charities in Britain handed out 20 million meals in the past 12 months to people who could not afford to feed themselves. The figure shows a 54-pecent increase compared to the previous year.
“We know that these are stats that we know about that are reported on, but We know that there are lots more independent, smaller charities who are providing food banks and food aid support as well,” Rachael Orr, head of UK poverty program, said.
Orr described the drastic rise in the number of applicants for food aid over the last year as “really shocking.”
"It is absolutely urgent that the government now really starts looking into this, understanding the drivers of food poverty and really start taking steps to ensure that less people in this country are struggling to put food on the table, rather than more,” she added.
The report comes after a recent report prepared by international aid agency Oxfam revealed that 3.5 million British youths are living in poverty across the UK, with the figure expected to soar to 5 million by 2020.
This is while the British government has set 2020 as a deadline to end child poverty.
The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission conducted a report that showed that the government will fail to meet the deadline. According to them, 21 percent of British children will be living in absolute poverty in six years from now.
A number of medical experts also in a letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron denounced the food poverty in one of the richest countries in the world.
The UK’s coalition government adopted austerity measures in order to tackle the country’s mounting debt and sluggish growth, but the policies have sparked public protests in recent years. Critics say the measures have resulted in a mismatch between stagnating wages and surging living costs.
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