A thousand aid groups launch ‘action/2015’

More than a thousand global development aid and philantropic organisations around the world launched  a campaign today (15 January) named action/2015, which is likely to be one of the largest ever launched.

Together, they are calling on local and world leaders to take urgent action to halt man-made climate change, eradicate poverty and address inequality, and to fight, with concrete measures, for a just and sustainable world.

Politicians and celebrities ranging from Queen Rania of Jordan and Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway, to Bill Gates, Bono, Sting, Ben Affleck and 25 more famous names, published today an ‘Open letter’ to world leaders, reminding them that the actions they will take in 2015 will decide the way the world turns for decades to come.

If leaders fail to deliver and build on the growing momentum for ambitious universal deals at the UN Special Summit on Sustainable Development in September in New York and the UN Climate talks in Paris in December, and scale back their efforts, the number of people living in extreme poverty could actually increase to 1.2 billion by 2030, the organisers of action/2015 believe.

The new data released by the action/2015 coalition shows that, even using relatively conservative scenarios, the number of people living in extreme poverty – on less than $1.25 a day – could be reduced dramatically from over a billion to 360 million by 2030. Based on work by researchers at the University of Denver, in the year 2030, about 4 % of the global population will live in extreme poverty (compared to 17% today), if critical policy choices on inequality, poverty investment and climate change are made this year and implemented thereafter.   

Action/2015, announced by Malala Yousafzai when she accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, is made up of environmental, human rights, development organisations and faith networks. From household names like Amnesty International and Save the Children to grassroots NGOs working with local communities, the movement aims to make sure the agreements of 2015 are shaped by the people, for the people.

At part of the launch, activities are taking place in more than 50 countries all around the world, from Lebanon and Liberia, to Nigeria, Norway, South Africa and Sri Lanka.  Many of these are spearheaded by 15-year-olds – a constituency who will be among the most affected by the agreements. Among the actions happening in Europe:

Additional examples of national activities around the world are:

Linda McAvan MEP, Chair of the European Parliament Development Committee, said that 2015 presents a unique opportunity in the fight against extreme poverty. 

“2015 must be a year of action, not just warm words, and I am delighted that so many civil society organizations have come together to campaign in this crucial year ahead.”

Aaction/2015 auspiciously coincides with the official European Year for Development, the first ever dedicated to an external policy by the European Union institutions. The aim of the European Year for Development 2015 is to make as many citizens of the EU as possible understand and support the role of Union in addressing global challenges and providing development aid.

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