CARE issues 10 ideas to rid the world of poverty, 10 ways individuals can help

Thursday, 16 October 2003

Lists help people understand complex issues and ways to make a difference

Calendars increasingly note that October 17th is International Poverty Eradication Day. But most of us are unaware of or uninformed about why this day should be important. Even if we do know and are inclined to act on it, we're not sure what to do.

To help individuals better understand poverty-related issues, CARE today released a list of Top 10 Ideas to Rid the World of Poverty, and 10 Ways Individuals Can Help because the issues may be global, but the solutions start with each of us.

The fight against poverty is a forgotten war," says Peter Bell, CARE president and CEO. "Living in the most powerful country in the world, we must demand more from present and future politicians at all levels of government to make poverty eradication a primary goal, while at the same time asking ourselves what we, as individuals, can do. It's time to speak up and say enough is enough. If not, poverty will remain a forgotten war. And October 17th will be just another day."

We see reminders every day that all life on our small planet is interconnected. The clothes we wear and the coffee we drink are likely produced half a world away. Ripples in the global economy impact Americans just as surely as ripples on the ocean can become hurricanes. Viruses, shared via cough or e-mail, can travel amazing distances in no time at all.

Despite our many connections, we are a world out of balance. One billion people are either starving or malnourished. Diarrhea kills 3 million children each year. Violent conflicts are raging in some 35 countries. And 125 million children, most of them girls, do not have access to basic education.

In Africa and Asia, HIV/AIDS continues to eat away at the human capital of country after country, leaving behind empty classrooms, barren fields and millions of orphans trying to survive, somehow, on their own.

According to public opinion polls, Americans on average believe that 20 percent of all U.S. government spending goes to foreign aid. In fact, our government spends less than 1 percent of the budget on foreign aid.

Adds Bell: "Two billion people will be added to the global population over the next 25 years 95 percent of them in poor countries facing lives of poverty if action is not taken now."

About CARE: CARE is an international humanitarian organization fighting global poverty, working in 69 countries in the areas of education, health, economic development, civil society, emergency response, food and water.

For more information, or to contact CARE, see their website at:

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