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Cross Party Praise for Comic Relief Anniversary

March 10, 2005 2:22 PM

Ahead of Red Noise day this Friday, Parmjit Singh Gill, Member of Parliament for Leicester South, has tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament, which has provided an opportunity for all Members of Parliament to formally voice their support the activities being organised for the 20th Anniversary of Comic Relief, and Red Noise Day 2005. The EDM has already received cross party support from over forty other Members of Parliament.

Since Comic Relief began twenty years ago, it has raised over £337 million and has supported over 7000 projects, helping poor and disadvantaged people both in the UK and Africa turn their lives around.

Why the need for Comic Relief is as important today as it was twenty years ago:

1. More than 300 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are living on less than $1 a day, and millions do not have access to clean drinking water, sanitation, health care, education or safe housing. (60 % of Red Nose Day Money is spent in Africa)

2. According to the United Nations Human Development Index, the 20 poorest countries in the world are in Africa. Aid to Africa from rich countries has fallen by 40% over the past 10 years, and commercial investment in Africa is very low compared to other regions.

3. Comic Relief UK aims to support disabled people; women and children who are forced to flee violent homes; young people who still live and work on the streets and some are exploited for sex; teenagers experiencing problems with drugs and alcohol and older people who are often denied opportunities to participate in society. (40 % of Red Nose Day Money is spent at home in the UK)

Voicing his own support, Parmjit added:

"Too many people both in the UK and abroad are powerless and forced to live on the margins of society.

"Comic Relief has championed these people for twenty years and continues to fight for the justice they deserve.

"Let's hope it enjoys the same levels of success and support in the future as it has over the past twenty years."


Notes to Editor:

· Comic Relief: http://www.comicrelief.org.uk/

· Red Nose Day 2005: www.rednoseday.com

· United Nations Development Reports: http://hdr.undp.org/

· The full text of the EDM below and also online at: http://edm.hclibrary.parliament.uk/edmdata/html/printable.html/ref=707

o A number of prominent MPs have already added their support including Liberal Democrat Party President, Simon Hughes. Labour MPs include, Diane Abbott and Austin Mitchell.

Full text: That this House celebrates the 20th Anniversary of Comic Relief and the events being organised this year for Red Nose Day 2005: Big Hair and Beyond, on 11th March; praises the ongoing commitment to help end poverty and social injustice both in the UK and the poorest countries in the world; commends the hundreds of comedians who continue to support Comic Relief through the use of comedy and laughter to convey serious messages; pays tribute to the enduring generosity of the public and those in the media and corporate worlds; applauds all those who have helped raise nearly £300 million to date; and encourages all honourable Members to support all future fund raising activities.