WASHINGTON – Supporters of ONE gathered in front of a giant-clock outside of the World Bank today as finance ministers from the world’s wealthiest nations met to discuss an historic debt cancellation deal for the world’s poorest countries.
“Every three seconds, a child dies because of treatable, preventable illness brought on by extreme poverty,” said Paul Dioguardi, field and campaigns director for ONE.
At their meeting in February, G7 countries promised that debt cancellation proposals would be agreed at the World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings. Empty promises cost lives. Now is the time to stop the clock on global poverty.
In the two months since the G7 finance ministers met in London, 2 million children have died because of treatable, preventable illness brought on by extreme poverty. Every day, 8,500 people die and another 13,500 contract the HIV virus, nearly 1,800 of who are children. More than one billion people, including half the population of Sub-Saharan Africa, live on less than one dollar a day.
The rally outside the World Bank is one of a series of events organized by ONE, the American campaign joined with the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP).
As ministers arrived in Washington on Thursday evening, the words END POVERTY were projected on the World Bank building. The massive projection included a message to visit the Global Call to Action Against Poverty site at www.whiteband.org where people can learn more about the emergency and how they can call on their leaders to take action on debt cancellation, increased international aid and trade reform for the world’s poorest countries.
Earlier in the day, a specially equipped van traveled throughout Washington broadcasting the ONE.ORG Spot featuring celebrities like George Clooney and religious leaders like Pat Robertson and calling on American’s from Hollywood to the Heartland to action in the fight against global AIDS and extreme poverty. The van also broadcast footage from Nelson Mandela’s speech before thousands of supporters at the last meeting of the G7 finance ministers in London in February.