Home Campaigns Make Poverty History Resources
Make Poverty History
We are supporting five complementary campaigns:
Make Poverty History Campaign in Australia
Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA, the overseas humanitarian aid arm of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), supports the Make Poverty History campaign internationally and in Australia. The international solidarity of working people against oppression and poverty has always been central to our movement. The aim of this campaign is to put pressure on governments around the world to take action for global poverty, focussing on three slogans:
The Make Poverty History campaign seeks to build on some limited successes in recent years: the Jubilee campaign's success in gaining debt relief for heavily indebted nations, increasing official and philanthropic aid, and the global debate about free trade in the lead up to, and after the Doha meeting of WTO.
According to the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), "trade unions are joining with others all around the world in the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, demanding that the grand promises made by governments at the United Nations and elsewhere should be put into action urgently. Creating decent jobs for all has never been more important, as divisions between the haves and the have-nots in the global economy grow ever greater. One billion people are unemployed, underemployed or working poor: 60% of these are women. In the Global Call, we demand debt relief to the poorest countries, greatly increased development aid and justice in the global trading system."
More than a billion people live on less than US $1 per day. In neighbouring countries, poverty is becoming more severe; in Indonesia more than 70 million now live in absolute poverty, and in PNG, Solomon Islands and East Timor the majority of people live on less than $1 per day. On the other hand in the decade beginning 1996, the 85,400 people who each have assets more than US $30 million have doubled their wealth, and now own 24% of the world's capital( Merril Lynch Capgemini, 26 June 2006). Official global overseas development aid in 2004 was US$79 billion, while total expenditure on advertising was US$570.
What should the Australian government do?
Union Aid Abroad, in conjunction with other Australian non-government development agencies campaigns for Australia to make a proper contribution to the goal of halving global poverty by 2015. According to the non-profit overseas aid agencies, doing our fair share means:
- More and better aid
- Drop the debt
- Trade justice
- Significantly increasing Australian government aid towards the internationally-agreed target of 0.7% of our national wealth (more than double the current level of 0.26%)
- Focusing aid on basic rights such as education, health, clean water, and sanitation for the poorest people
- Cancelling the debts owed by poor countries who can't adequately support their own people while they have to repay the rich
- Working for trade justice to help the poor trade their way out of poverty
- Respecting human rights in the workplace, so people have decent jobs with a living wage.
Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA
Ph: (02) 9264 9343
Fax: (02) 9261 1118