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Our work on trade

TradeKofi Eliasa used to own a tomato farm, but now he breaks stones in a quarry for a living, earning less than a dollar a day to feed his family.

He is one of the many farmers in Ghana who have fallen victim to cheap European food imports that have flooded his country ever since the Ghanaian government was forced to open up its markets in return for loans and aid from the IMF and the World Bank.

The problem

It's all part of a wider global picture in which unfair trade rules designed largely by rich countries work against the interests of poor communities in developing countries. 

While international trade is worth $10 million a minute, poor countries only account for 0.4% of this trade - half the share they had in 1980.

All this, while the world’s richest countries still have exactly the kind of support for their domestic businesses that they are forcing developing countries to drop.

The average EU cow is subsidised to the tune of around $800. In Ethiopia, the average annual income per person is just $100.

What we do

So, what can we do about this situation? Here at Christian Aid, we believe that trade must be used to help bring an end to poverty – not deepen and prolong it.  

We also believe that poor countries should have the freedom to help and support their vulnerable farmers and industries.

Therefore, we are demanding that:

  • The EU stop insisting that its former colonies open up their markets through the economic partnership agreements.

  • The IMF and World Bank remove all economic policy conditions attached to their loans and debt-cancellation agreements.

  • World Trade Organisation agreements support development rather than promote free trade for the sake of free trade.

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People can end it.

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