Switch headers Switch to TIGweb.org

Are you an TIG Member?
Click here to switch to TIGweb.org

HomeHomeExpress YourselfPanoramaCall to Action
a TakingITGlobal online publication

(Advanced Search)

Panorama Home
Issue Archive
Current Issue
Next Issue
Featured Writer
TIG Magazine
Short Story
My Content
Call to Action Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Lewis Best, Australia Sep 7, 2005
Poverty , Human Rights   Opinions


Every 3 seconds, a child dies from hunger. This phrase, popularized by the MakePovertyHistory campaign along with the Live8 concerts, shows the world what state it is in. Worldwide, 208 million young people live on less than US$1 a day, and a further 515 million live on less that US$2 a day. 85% of young people live in developing countries and most of them live in rural areas where poverty and diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria cause havoc.

Worldwide, many young girls don’t make it past the fifth grade. Instead, they have to fetch water for their family. The water isn’t safe to drink and it is usually many kilometers away from where they live.

In some areas of the world many children do not live until their sixth birthday. Child mortality is at an all time high and continues to increase. However, it is a proven fact that if mothers of these children were provided with proper education on basic hygiene and sanitation the child would have lived beyond the age of five.

What does this all mean? It means that the world needs to wake up and pay attention to the worldwide plight of poverty. We can not rely on politicians to change the problem. Only a collective action from all people will move towards the eradication of poverty.

In 2000, 189 countries, under the United Nations Millennium Declaration, agreed to eradicate extreme poverty by 2015. In addition to this promise the leaders of these countries pledged to increase Official Development Assistance (ODA) to 0.7% of their country’s Gross National Income (GNI). So far, no country has met their commitments. Australia is currently at 0.28% GNI and it doesn’t look like that figure will increase any time soon.

So where do young people fit in all of this? Everywhere. Young people are increasingly being recognized as important factors within global development. Since the United Nation’s conception it has been calling for increased youth participation in global decision making. Unfortunately, many countries have overlooked the call. Only a small number of countries send youth delegates to the United Nation’s General Assembly and at many international events young people are often brushed aside.

Times are changing. At the World Summit of Sustainable Development in 2002 the WSSD Youth Caucus was the largest that had ever attended a global summit. Young people were allowed to speak at the plenary sessions; it was a victory for youth participation. It cannot stop there. There is a global call for an end to poverty. Billions of people are calling for our governments to stand up and face poverty.

Colin Powell said that the war on terror will not succeed unless the war on poverty is fought and won. Every day, thousands die needlessly. Will you be brave enough to stand up and take a stance?

We are the generation that can finally eradicate poverty. We have a responsibility to step up to the plate and tackle the issue head on. We can’t escape it.

Will you step up and be the change?



You must be logged in to add tags.

Writer Profile
Lewis Best

This user has not written anything in his panorama profile yet.
You must be a TakingITGlobal member to post a comment. Sign up for free or login.