Make Poverty History Platform
Today, half the world's population lives on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1 billion people go to bed hungry every night and 50,000 people die every day from poverty-related causes. In Canada, about one in ten children as well as one in ten working age adults live in poverty. In First Nations communities, one in every four children live in poverty.
Poverty is a violation of human rights on a massive scale. It doesn't have to be this way. If we choose - if we have the will to act - we can Make Poverty History.
In 2000, world leaders adopted the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and promised to "spare no effort" in the fight to end poverty. The MDGs are minimum standards that are attainable by the target date of 2015. Real progress to date is now threatened by climate change and the global economic crisis. Unless we significantly scale up our efforts, we will not achieve these goals with tragic consequences for the world's most vulnerable people.
Canada is not doing its part.
For development aid Canada now ranks 16th out of 22 donor countries. Despite repeated promises, we give less than half the agreed international target of 0.7% of national income.
Compared with most developed countries, Canada has a higher rate of poverty and a faster growing gap between rich and poor.
Canada is among the top per capita emitters of greenhouse gases that cause climate change. Canada is the only country to have reneged on its international obligations to fight climate change and has undermined efforts to reach a new accord.
Call To Action
Canada must take bold action to end poverty at home and abroad. We call on our governments to be leaders in this effort, both at home and around the world. We seek urgent and positive action in three key areas:
- Increase aid to reach the UN aid target of 0.7% of national income.
- Improve aid by implementing the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act.
- Promote trade and investment rules that allow all developing countries to choose the policies they need to fight poverty and protect the environment.
- In consultation with those living in poverty, design a federal plan that complements provincial and territorial initiatives.
- Adopt a federal anti-poverty act that ensures enduring federal commitment and provides accountability for results.
- Commit sufficient federal funding to ensure a decent standard of living for all Canadians.
- Cut Canada's greenhouse gas pollution.
- Support a fair, ambitious and binding international agreement to stop climate change.
- Provide stable and additional financing for poor countries to adapt to climate change and reduce their own emissions.