Global Action on Poverty

An important announcement from our Islamic Relief Worldwide

Islamic Relief backs campaign for agreements on extreme poverty, inequality, climate change and gender justice

Islamic Relief is throwing its weight behind calls for global action on poverty, inequality and climate change as well as the promotion of gender justice.

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Almost a billion extra people will face a life of extreme poverty if world leaders duck key decisions at three upcoming summits, according to new research by the action/2015 coalition. Billions of people already live in poverty worldwide.

Islamic Relief’s senior advisor on Post-2015, Helen Stawski, said: “It is critical that world leaders agree plans to eradicate poverty, promote gender justice, and tackle inequality as well as prevent dangerous climate change – including support for disaster risk reduction and community resilience. Ambitious deals at summits in Addis Ababa, New York and Paris later this year are essential.

“Action could dramatically reduce the number of people struggling to live on less than USD $1.25 a day from more than one billion to 360 million by 2030. For the first time in history, it is possible to eradicate extreme poverty.”

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It is possible to eradicate extreme poverty

The new calculation released by the action/2015 coalition shows that, even using relatively conservative scenarios, the number of people living in extreme poverty could be reduced from over a billion to 360 million by 2030.

Based on work by the University of Denver, about four per cent of the global population would live in extreme poverty if policy choices on inequality, poverty investment and climate change are made this year and delivered. Other research shows that the eradication of extreme poverty is achievable for the first time in history.

However, if leaders fail to build on the growing momentum for ambitious deals, the number of people living in extreme poverty could increase to 1.2 billion by 2030. This would be the first rise in a generation and almost a billion higher than if resolute action is taken. One in three people worldwide would live on under USD $2 a day.

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Seizing the opportunities of 2015

High profile activists – from Queen Rania of Jordan and Malala to Ben Affleck, Bill and Melinda Gates and Mo Ibrahim – have backed the action/2015 coalition, which is made up of over a thousand organisations in more than 120 countries around the world.

The movement aims to make sure the agreements are shaped by the public, and also calls on people around the world to hold their governments to account for their commitments. Islamic Relief continues to urge people to have their say and back the campaign as part of its multidimensional approach to reducing poverty worldwide.

To mark the campaign launch, activities are taking place in more than 50 countries – many spearheaded by 15 year olds, a group who will be among the most affected by the agreements. Islamic Relief volunteer and activist, Juwairiyah Aftab, will be part of a delegation of UK youth activists meeting the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, to push them to seize the opportunities of 2015.

Third Conference on Financing for Sustainable Development in Addis Ababa takes place in July, the UN Special Summit on Sustainable Development is scheduled for September and the UN Climate talks in Paris get underway in December.

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Islamic Relief delivers extensive advocacy to shape the Post-2015 development agenda, and will continue to influence governments as we participate in international negotiations in Addis Ababa, New York and Paris.

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