A Five Year Anniversary

Five years ago today I had just returned from an amazing weekend up in Edinburgh. I joined hundreds of thousands of others for the Make Poverty History rally, campaigning for a radical change in global politics to highlight key issues such as trade, aid, debt and HIV/AIDS affecting developing countries.

 Five years later, the white wristband I wore is gathering dust at the back of my cupboard, but the issues remain as pertinent as ever.

 Whilst the Make Poverty History Campaign disbanded in 2006, the coalition of organisations involved still remains committed to fighting global poverty.

 There have been many successes from the campaign; more and better quality aid has been given to developing countries allowing governments to tackle poverty more effectively. Education has been prioritised with 33 million more children worldwide now able to attend school, and antiretroviral drugs are more widely available, tackling the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Confronting the underlying injustices in trade and debt systems has seen debt burdens cancelled for 20 countries and the campaign for fair-trade has become more than just a fad.

 Yet challenges remain, targets are missed, and new crises arise. The financial downturn has impacted heavily upon developing countries, and climate change affects the poorest and most vulnerable.

 Make Poverty History inspired many and created a momentum for demanding radical change. The problems may seem insurmountable but change is possible. Poverty is not, and should not be seen as inevitable.

 “Above all, making poverty history is about supporting developing countries to make their own choices in the best interests of their people. It is about helping, not hindering.”

Jenny Ricks: ActionAid

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Published in: on July 6, 2010 at 3:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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