The leaders of the G8 countries have an opportunity to take a bold position that can go a long way towards eradicating poverty in African countries but they will not likely take bold steps without knowing the world is watching and expecting more than token efforts.
Africa needs more than money. For one thing, it needs debt forgiveness. Many nations are unable to move forward because they continue to struggle under the burden of simply repaying interest on money given them years ago from the world bank. Between 1970 and 2002 Africa received $540 billion in loans. Over that same period, African countries paid back $550 or $10 billion more than the original loans--today they still owe another $293 billion. Most African nations spend more repaying these debts then they spend on education and health care. Read more about the issues here
Food and water are in short supply. Much of Africa is in extreme poverty. People living on less than $1 a day.
- HIV/AIDS kills 6,300 people
- 8,500 people are infected with the HIV virus
- 1,400 newborn babies are infected during childbirth or by their mothers' milk.
Corruption in government is always harmful to those under its rule, but those in poverty suffer the most in such situations and are perhaps the least able to do anything about it directly. The issue of government accountability is critical to Africa.
All of these factors are critical to ending extreme poverty in Africa. They are what The One Campaign is about.
The One Campaign isn't asking you for money... it is asking you to stand up and say to our leaders that the time to act ins NOW. The G8 summit offers the perfect opportunity to address Africa's POVERTY and we are watching. We support action and We are watching. We are asking you to become part of the solution and We are watching.
WHAT YOU CAN DO....
Sign the ONE Declaration and encourage others to do so too! [sign here]
Wear the white band and learn more about world poverty [here]
Raise your voices... Encourage Congress and the president to make overcoming hunger, poverty and decease a priority. Urge your members of Congress to co-sponsor the Millennium Development Goals Resolution (H. Con. Res 172) for a sample letter click here .
Engage others in discussing these issues. Ideas and resources of sharing ONE with others here
I challenge everyone, but especially poets and writers to get involved. Sign the declaration & encourage others via your blogs your conversations, etc. Link the resources I have provided her or link this post if you wish. I have this belief that poets and writers tend to be more in tune with our world as a whole and those about us. I hope that is not a misconception on my part.