Protesting for an end to poverty

Published: 1 November 2005

Edinburgh: On the eve of the G8 summit the largest anti-poverty movement the world has ever seen piled unprecedented pressure on the eight leaders to save millions of lives.

Edinburgh: On the eve of the G8 summit the largest anti-poverty movement the world has ever seen piled unprecedented pressure on the eight leaders to save millions of lives.

“Poverty is a crime against humanity. Every day, one billion people wake up hungry. “We say to these eight men in suits that the world is watching. No more excuses,” said Kumi Naidoo, chairperson of the Global Call to Action against Poverty.

“Never before have so many millions united with one voice to demand an end to poverty. The G8 must not let them down. We must see action on aid, trade and debt cancellation,” said Kumi Naidoo.

Currently, 1.2 billion people around the globe live on less than one dollar a day and half the world's population - three billion people live on under two dollars every day.

Wahu Kaara, nobel peace prize nominee and Director or Kenya debt relief organization said: “Year in year out we've come to speak to you about poverty, debt cancellation and unfair trade and still you haven't done enough. This year has to be different. Across the world we are telling you to act to save lives.”

Naidoo said the anti-poverty movement is calling on G8 leaders to immediately move on debt, aid and trade.

Increasing aid is vital in the fight against poverty. Rich countries have consistently failed to deliver on promises they made in 1970 to deliver 0.7 percent of their income in overseas aid.

Debt continues to strangle poor countries' chances of a way out of poverty. Until all the countries that need it have their debt cancelled there will be no progress. Many more countries must receive debt relief.

Finally, the campaign is calling for trade justice. Poor people are the greatest workers on earth. They need a chance to help themselves; countries need a chance to grow. This will only happen with wholesale reform of world trade rules.

The Global Call to Action against Poverty said the figures were obscene. Last year rich countries spent $80 billion on foreign aid, $600 billion on military spending and $300 billion on agricultural subsidies for their own farmers. Poor countries pay back $100 million dollars a day to rich countries in debt repayments, far more than they receive in aid.

“If G8 leaders fail to use the political courage needed the act decisively failure will be solely in their hands, not in the hands of millions campaigning around the world to end poverty,” said Naidoo.

Contact Information

For more information call Caroline Green on 44 7739 456 535 or Kate Norgrove on 44 7813 164 160 and Barbara Kwateng on 44 7950 899653 or Ciara Gaynor or 44 7705 013 950