The UK’s biggest charities today join together to launch the 2013 Live Below the Line campaign – the biggest yet.
On 29th April to 3rd May, thousands of people across the UK will join together again to help tackle extreme poverty by living on just £1 a day for their food and drink, raising awareness and funds in the process.
Live Below the Line is helping to build a movement, a movement of global citizens willing and able to make a meaningful difference to those who need it most - and it’s gathering pace.
In 2012 the Live Below the Line campaign was hugely successful and I want to tell you exactly what we achieved.
Together, we raised over 500K for anti-poverty causes - huge progress towards eradicating extreme poverty. We spoke to thousands of people about the issues, debated solutions with friends, our tweets were seen by millions and our personal stories made the front pages of national and local news.
If you participated or donated last year – thank you. But in 2013, we need you again. We’re not done yet. The 2013 campaign launches today, and it promises to be bigger and better than ever before.
Just imagine what we could do if 10,000 people took the challenge.
We’ve joined forces with some of the country's most talented chefs, TV personalities, politicians, the UK's biggest charities, schools, churches, mosques and synagogues, campaigners and fundraisers – young and old alike to have an even greater impact in 2013.
Join us by taking the Live Below the Line challenge this April. Sign up here.
It's more than a dream or an idea for us at the Global Poverty Project - it's a commitment.
It's a commitment that we've been talking about for years - and for which this blog post, originally posted in 2010, has sparked huge conversation.
The end of extreme poverty in a generation is an idea whose day has come.
We're thrilled to see the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, join us today in saying that this world is possible:
"Thirty years ago more than half the planet lived on the equivalent of $1.25 a day or less. Today it is around a fifth.
This amazing story of human progress shows what’s possible.
We can be the generation that eradicates absolute poverty in our world."
It's not going to be quick, nor is going to be easy. It's going to require us to keep giving aid, but to go much further.
As the Prime Minsiter said in his speech at the World Economic Forum this morning, "we’ll only achieve that if we break the vicious cycle and treat the causes of poverty, not just its symptoms."
Ending extreme poverty requires us to support the efforts of the world's poor to change systems in their own countries, whilst also changing how our ecnomies work. It's why we campaign on aid, on trade, on transparency and governance, and it's why we're a committed member of the IF campaign in the UK.
That's why we're committed to playing our part at the Global Poverty Project - by running campaigns that give you, global citizens, the opportunity and challenge to play your small role in ending extreme poverty.
Britain has a lot to be proud of. As the only nation to commit to giving 0.7% of GNI to international aid, we have led the world on tackling global poverty. And when the world's spotlight shines on the UK during the Olympics and Paralympics, it's essential that we take this opportunity to show further leadership on extreme poverty and the structures and systems that are obstacles to its eradication. Just yesterday, The Global Poverty Project joined with some of the countries leading agencies to urge David Cameron to make tackling the global food crisis top of the agenda for next years G8 Summit. You can find the statement we signed below.
NGO's CALL FOR END TO GLOBAL HUNGER AS GREATEST OLYMPIC LEGACY
Britain's leading aid and development charities have welcomed the progress made at Prime Minister David Cameron's Olympics Hunger Event, and urged world leaders to keep the global food crisis at the top of their agenda in the run-up to next year's G8 summit in the UK.
A joint statement signed by ten leading NGOs praised the Prime Minister's leadership but urged him to take further steps on this issue over the coming year.
The charities said:
"At a time when the World's spotlight is on Britain, we have shown as a nation not only that we can stage the greatest Olympics in history, but that we believe in a legacy for the games which is about more than medals and arenas.
"That global spotlight has today shone on one of the biggest crises we share as a world: the fact that - despite there being enough food in the world to feed everyone - one in seven people go to bed hungry every night, over two million children die from malnutrition each year, and around 180 million children are suffering from stunting due to lack of nutrition.
"There is real hope now that with the momentum from this meeting building towards next year's G8 summit we can mount the biggest-ever effort to end global hunger and fix the broken food system. The meeting acknowledged that this is a crisis with complex structural causes, but with the political will seen today, we know the solutions are at hand.
"At a time when Britain is being praised around the world for delivering a great Olympic Games and producing so many world-beating athletes, when the British people are rightly proud of what we have achieved, we have the opportunity as a country to show that same leadership and take that same pride in tackling one of the world's great shared problems. That global leadership and the millions of lives it will save would be the greatest legacy the UK Olympics could ever leave."
The charities that signed the joint statement alongside Global Poverty Project are ActionAid, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Oxfam GB, Progressio, Save The Children UK, Tearfund and UNICEF UK.
The UN’s Annual Monitoring Report, analysing the progress made towards the Millennium Development Goals, was released recently. With only three years to go before the deadline is reached, now is an important time to reflect on the progress made – or lack thereof.
There was good news as the number of people in extreme poverty fell in all regions. In 1990, 47 per cent of the world was living on less than $1.25 a day, but by 2008 this had fallen to 24 per cent. Other targets on drinking water access and slum-dwellers were also met and exceeded respectively. With regards to health, there was positive news as levels of access to HIV treatment widened, rates of tuberculosis fell since 2002 and global malaria incidents, as well as deaths, decreased.
It also reports on other achievements in furthering primary school education and tackling child mortality rates. There is now greater equality between the number of girls and boys in primary education. Enrollment in primary school has generally increased, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa; between 1999 and 2010, enrollment rose from 58 to 76 per cent. In addition, more children are living past the age of five, with the number of under-five deaths dropping from more than 12.0 million in 1990 to 7.6 million in 2010, worldwide.
Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, reflected positively on the results in the report: “These results represent a tremendous reduction in human suffering and are a clear validation of the approach embodied in the MDGs. But they are not a reason to relax.”
This is because despite these gains, progress was uneven and positive results were not shared equally across and within regions and countries. For instance, few or slow gains are being made in some areas such as secure employment, gender equality, maternal healthcare, child malnutrition, sanitation and hunger. Indeed, nearly half of the population in developing regions – 2.5 billion people – still lack access to improved sanitation facilities. At this rate, 2015 targets in this area will not be met. Meanwhile, estimates reveal that around 850 million people are living in hunger in the world. Alarmingly, close to one third of children in Southern Asia were underweight in 2010.
Ban Ki-Moon is right to be cautious, especially in current economic climates: “The current economic crises besetting much of the developed world must not be allowed to decelerate or reverse the progress that has been made. Let us build on the successes we have achieved so far, and let us not relent until all the MDGs have been attained.”
It was over a decade ago that world leaders agreed to the Millennium Development Goals and it is clear that much has been achieved. Nevertheless, as the 2015 deadline draws closer, it is also clear that there is still much more to be done. Not to mention looking forward and planning what will happen beyond 2015.