In the wake of proposals from Capitol Hill to cut funding for US aid by 40%, Global Poverty Project (GPP) announces the launch of its first United States campaign on April 8, 2011. The international organization will challenge Americans to “Live Below the Line” of Extreme Poverty, defined by the World Bank as living on $1.50 per day (adjusted from $1.25 to account for inflation), in order to gain critical insight into the importance of preserving basic, lifesaving resources for the world’s 1.4 billion extreme poor. Participants in the “Live Below the Line” campaign will pledge to live on a food budget of $1.50 per day, for five days, May 16 – 20, 2011.
“This is an incredible campaign that really gives us the chance to understand the realities of Extreme Poverty,” quotes GPP Board Member Hugh Jackman. “It is certainly a challenge to eat and drink off of $1.50 a day for five days, but for 1.4 billion people, $7.50 is all they have not only for food, but also for living costs, clothing – everything! ‘Live Below the Line’ highlights the challenges that over one billion people are faced with everyday and urges us to do something about it.”
[spoiler]GPP was founded in Australia in 2008, as a campaigning organization designed to fight Extreme Poverty through public policy in three distinct areas: Quality Aid, Fair Trade Practice, and Anti-Corruption Law Reform. To-date, GPP members have played a key role in increasing Australia’s foreign aid relief from 0.3% to 0.5% GNP, have successfully lobbied Cadbury to use Fair Trade suppliers, and have made inroads into tackling UK legislation to improve laws against bribery.
“You must differentiate between treating the cause and treating the symptom,” explains GPP Founder Hugh Evans. “Aid that strictly targets symptoms walks a fine line between providing needed assistance and creating dependency. At Global Poverty Project our goal is to eliminate the root causes of Extreme Poverty at their most fundamental levels.”
‘Live Below the Line’ is designed to give people a personal understanding of the challenges of Extreme Poverty, and change perception on the value of Quality Aid. According to a recent GALLUP poll, a majority of Americans believe that 26% of the national budget is spent on foreign aid per year. In reality, it is less than 1%.[/spoiler]