'IoS' Christmas Appeal: Victims of climate change

Pancha Bala is 45. Her husband is dead. And she is a victim of climate change: last year a monsoon flood washed away every vestige of the simple house where she was raising six children alone
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The Independent Online

Pancha Bala, from the island of Kutubdia, off Bangladesh, is a victim of a new catastrophe afflicting the world's poorest people - climate change.

Here in Britain, the effects of global warming can sometimes seem like a distant prospect, affecting our children and grandchildren rather than us.

But climate change is already blighting the lives of millions. Drought is destroying the livelihood of nomadic herders in Africa. In parts of Asia, cyclones and floods are happening with greater frequency - witness the hundreds of deaths last week in a mudslide in the Philippines. Increased competition for water and other resources is already causing conflict, and it is widely predicted that all these problems will only get worse as the effects of climate change intensify.

Today 'The Independent on Sunday' launches its Christmas appeal for the victims of this disaster. We are supporting Christian Aid, an international development agency working in 50 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean through 700 local organisations.

Christian Aid helps people regardless of religion, and is committed to keeping administration costs low. It will devote 93p in every pound directly to climate-change work overseas, such as improving agricultural techniques and supporting clean energy projects, using solar, wind and biofuel to promote small businesses and bring power to isolated communities.

Our first report shows how Christian Aid helped to change the lives of villagers in India. We urge you to give generously to this cause, which touches us all.

The Independent on Sunday's 2006 Christmas Appeal has been launched to raise money for the victims of climate change. To donate now, go to: www.christianaid.org.uk/climateappeal

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