The 2012 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is being observed around the world, focusing on the theme: "Ending the Violence of Extreme Poverty: Promoting Empowerment and Building Peace".
Representatives of Governments and civil society, including people living in poverty, are gathering at UN Headquarters in New York to give voice to how poverty violates fundamental human rights and the need to build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to intensify anti-poverty efforts.
Additionally, the public is invited to join the UN system and civil society partners in a social media action using the hash tag #EndPoverty, to raise awareness of progress made in the fight against poverty and the need to accelerate action to achieve the MDGs in the three years remaining to the 2015 deadline.
"Rampant poverty, which has festered for far too long, is linked to social unrest and threats to peace and security," says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message for the Day. "On this International Day, let us make an investment in our common future by helping to lift people out of poverty so that they, in turn, can help to transform our world," he adds.
Building on a decade of progress
At the 2000 Millennium Summit, world leaders committed themselves to cutting in half, by the year 2015, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty, on less than $1.25 a day. Over a decade later, millions have overcome extreme poverty and attained better access to health care and education.
Despite these significant gains, communities worldwide continue to face challenges related to poverty that in turn affect access to education, job security, gender equality, and maternal and child health. A recent FAO report cites that 870 million people are affected by hunger. The 2012 MDG Report expressed concern that over 60 million primary school-aged children remain out of school. Although the 2015 target on access to clean water has already been met, over 600 million people still lack access, and over two billion lack access to improved sanitation facilities.
The commemoration of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty will be an occasion to recognize the grievances and aspirations of people living in poverty and allows the world to identify people living in poverty as critical partners for fighting the development challenges we face.
Source: Press Release, DPI
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