UN officials urge global action to combat poverty

UN officials urge global action to combat poverty

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Marking the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, senior United Nations officials today urged global efforts to fight the scourge.

Calling for a recommitment to the Millennium Development Goals, which resolved to halve the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by 2015, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that the global record shows that barely half the amount progress needed so far has been achieved.

Extreme poverty, defined as a dollar per day threshold, is a grim reality affecting 1.2 billion or 23 per cent of the world population, he noted in his message marking the Day. “The Millennium Development Goals are attainable, but poverty is an old enemy with many faces,” he said. “Defeating it will require many actors to work together.”

Jan Kavan of the Czech Republic, the President of the General Assembly, stressed the need to recognize the power of women in the eradication of poverty, and called for empowering them through a variety of local level projects.

In another commemoration of the Day, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) today awarded $30,000 to 27 equatorial communities from 19 different countries in recognition of their “outstanding” work to reduce poverty and protect biodiversity.

The winners of the Equator Prize, chosen from among over 420 nominations, “are models of the kind of sustainable future UNDP believes is possible,” said agency Administrator Mark Malloch Brow