Uniting against poverty

by Richard on February 15, 2005

Yesterday, Mike wrote about Make Poverty History campaign. Howard rightly points out that this is a UK campaign. Those unlucky enough not to reside in this green and pleasant land might prefer to get involved in the campaign through an altenative route.

The ONE Campaign is an effort to rally US citizens to the cause of fighting global poverty and the AIDS crisis. Their declaration states

WE BELIEVE that in the best American tradition of helping others help themselves, now is the time to join with other countries in a historic pact for compassion and justice to help the poorest people of the world overcome AIDS and extreme poverty. WE RECOGNIZE that a pact including such measures as fair trade, debt relief, fighting corruption and directing an additional one percent of the U.S. budget toward meeting basic needs – education, health, clean water, food, and care for orphans – would transform the futures and hopes of an entire generation in the poorest countries. WE COMMIT ourselves - one person, one voice, one vote at a time - to make a better, safer world for all.

Canadians have their own coalition. Make Poverty History was launched in Canada on February 11th:

At the start of the 21st century 1.2 billion people live in abject poverty. More than 800 million people go to bed hungry and 30,000 children die every day from poverty-related causes.
Poverty exists because of the choices we make.
It doesn’t have to be this way. If we choose - if we have the will to act - we can Make Poverty History.

Similar campaigns are gathering pace around the world, bringing together community groups, Trade Unions, individuals, faith groups and others. There are no excuses for not getting involved, wherever you live!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1

howard 02.17.05 at 9:42 pm

Thanks for the follow-up on this!

2

Lyn Davies 07.01.05 at 11:58 pm

The planet is home to all land sea and air creatures.Breath is a given. Air is a given - just as water, rain, sunshine, oceans—-It is our blindness and ignorance that makes us assume that we can possess what are part of the natural world - the world that is home to ALL. We have become obsessed with ownership, profit, mammon - the “things” ofthis world. In our obsession wehave forgotten that it cannot truly belong to anybody. It is whole andwe are part of that whole - just like a flower, a tree, the sun, rain, arock, the air, a baby. All divisions are thought created. We are all one LIFE. The poverty of one is the poverty of all. They’re material is a mirror which reflects our poverty of heart. No one is less or more worthy than another - no one is less deserving than another. We are all beneficeries of the abundance of this planet, “gifts” to all. In our ignorance we have focused too much on the individual - be it person, nation, state, religion, special group which have rsulted in division and conflict around the world , caused wars and extreme poverty,hunger and enormous gaps between the rich and poor. Our economic system, our belief in the divisions between man and man etc, are the root cause. Man’s inhumanity to man - the willingness to believe that I am more worthy than another - more superior, better than, more deserving, work harder all these and more. Wehave distorted what is real and true - All are within the embrace of ONE LIFE - and we can all lay claim to the beneficience of the natural world. It belongs to no one more than another. Thus, Iwould add my name wholeheartedly to this campaign. It is time to wake from our dream that excessive progress will change the world for the good. That has been the story for centuries but there are still billions suffer as a consequence of this delusion - mainly because it is the delusion of the few who think it works and pay no attention to the immense cost in hunger, poverty, disease, death, the violence and atrocity of war. the conflicts and turmoil that exist around the world. The powers that be need to be made accountable for their actions and their choices. They must state their priorities. They tell us that the third world requires good governance, that it must be free of greedy abuse of aid/funds. People in glass houses should not throw stones!! Western governments are more than adept in the abuse of taxpayers money - particularly by way of grants, tax relief for the already en”riched” - yet decade after decade they prove to us who they consider the most worthy in our society - those who already have too big a share of the pie!If the leaders of the “have” nations cannot look after their own, as they have so ably shown us in the past decade as they rapidly eroded the socialsupports, the health and education system while at the same time rewarding the well - healed with bigger tax cuts, which ofcourse, they desperately needed. Had these tax cuts not been made, we might have been able to meet the minimal 0.7% of GDP requested from the rich world countries which would alleviate world poverty.

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