CAFOD ambassador Delia Smith has called on the Catholic community to make a special effort to raise money for the Church’s official aid agency, after the Government agreed to match all donations made during Lent.

The UK government will match pound for pound every donation given to CAFOD’s ‘Give it Up’ Lenten Appeal, during which many thousands of parishes, schools, communities and individuals across England and Wales are giving up treats and donating the money to CAFOD instead.

 Delia Smith, the UK’s best-selling cookery writer and long-time CAFOD supporter, welcomed the news and credited the award to the organisation’s use of money and the effectiveness of its foreign programmes. She said:

 “This is not just any Lent; this is THE Lent for CAFOD. So effective has their work been in inspiring individuals, groups,  and parishes to raise funds, and equal to that, so effective have their programmes overseas been, they have been chosen to receive matched government funding. This Lent, every pound raised will be matched by the Department for International Development. So, fellow Catholics, parishioners, school children, and indeed all those in our nation who want to reach out to the very poorest people on our planet, let’s use the short time we have to double all our efforts and really make a difference.”

Andrew Mitchell, the Secretary of State for International Development, said:

“CAFOD is working to improve water access, sanitation and hygiene for some of the world’s most vulnerable and neglected people, including those affected by war, climate change and disease. It is potentially life-saving work, tackling cholera, helping girls attend school rather than having to fetch water and ensuring that children know about hygiene and waterborne diseases. By matching pound for pound all public donations, the UK Government will help CAFOD double its impact, ensuring tens of thousands more families have access to clean water and sanitation and are provided with everything from water purification kits and soap to training in how to fix a broken borehole.”


In parallel with ‘Give it up!’, CAFOD has launched the Thirst for Change campaign, seeking access to safe drinking-water and sanitation for all. A billion people in the world currently lack access to clean water, and 1.7 million die every year because of dirty water and unclean sanitation. CAFOD is calling on David Cameron to lead the way at the G8 summit in May, urging world leaders to show their commitment to ending water poverty.

UK Aid Match is an initiative that allows the UK public to have a say in how some of the Government’s international aid budget is spent.  The Government will match, pound for pound, public donations to a charitable appeal which aims to tackle poverty in developing countries.  More information can be found at

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