Anti-poverty campaigners from 19 countries have jointly urged the global community to remain committed to the UN Millennium Development Goals – despite the mounting financial crisis.
The group – who are some of the world’s leading experts in poverty research – made the declaration during a summit at The University of Manchester October 16.
The strongly worded statement agreed by 31 campaigners based equally in developing and developed countries coincides with International Poverty Day.
The eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals form a blueprint agreed by all the world’s countries leading development institutions.
They range from halving extreme poverty, halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education. All have a target date of 2015.
Professor Michael Woolcock, Research Director of the University’s Brooks World Poverty Institute which organised the summit said: “At a time when rich nations grapple with financial turmoil we must not loose sight of the world’s nearly two billion poorest people who live on less than two dollars a day.
“These people are routinely exposed to diseases and violence; their lives, homes and livelihoods are uninsured, and vulnerable to take-over at any time by local elites, thugs, politicians or the police.
“They cannot exert their human rights; the only credit available to build a small business or pay for medical expenses will cost 200 per cent a year.
“They will watch their children die early and often for want of medical interventions that cost 50 cents.
“That is why we say meeting the Millennium Development Goals must remain a global priority.”
“On international poverty day, our common humanity demands that we work to establish a vibrant and inclusive global economy,
“But we must also redouble our efforts to work with poor people to ensure that they too live lives of dignity, opportunity and hope.”
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