18th of February 2021 by Movendi International.

A joint letter to European and Africa leaders was sent by community-based and civil society groups from Africa, Europe and around the world. They wish to express their deep concern about revelations that the European Union External Action is encouraging and part-funding the alcohol industry, interfering in public policy of a sovereign country, particularly South Africa.

The activists claim it is “grossly irresponsible and reckless” for the European Union External Action to behave in such way, part-funding and incentivizing joint activities around alcohol policy in South Africa.

They rightfully base their concerns considering the lethal interaction between alcohol and the coronavirus pandemic, and ask to:

  • Apologize to people in South Africa
  • Terminate the support towards the alcohol industry as to stop interfering in public policies aimed at protecting people from the alcohol’s harm
  • End subsidizing the alcohol industry and their unethical business practices

The community-based and civil society groups assert that it is disturbing, also considering the global pandemic, to keep seeking advancement of private profit interests over a population that already suffers the greatest burden of alcohol harm, that costs “nearly 300 billion rand or 10 to 12% of the 2009 GDP”. Moreover, in South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe, 65% of women experiencing intimate partner violence reported that the perpetrator had used alcohol.

Supporting the alcohol industry equals supporting all the abovementioned situations; therefore, it is clear what moves the activists into writing such letter.

 

If you wish to read the full letter, click on the following link: https://movendi.ngo/open-letters/african-european-communities-denounce-european-union-external-action-collusion-with-big-alcohol-make-3-requests-for-change/.

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