The Global Call to Action against Poverty, launched this week at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, in southern Brazil, emerged from the gathering of nearly 100 organizations and calls for three lines of attack to produce the changes necessary to eliminate hunger and poverty and fulfill the UN’s Goals of the Millenium.
Humanitarian aid: The organizations believe that there is a disproportion between the amount of resources destined for international humanitarian aid and the amount represented by the subsidies that still exist in the developed countries.
From the standpoint of the network of organizations, it is necessary to increase international aid, not just ease the conditions for poor countries to gain access to these resources.
An example of this, according to Adriano Campolina, director of Action-Aid and one of the coordinators of the Global Call, are the economic conditions imposed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund for countries to liberalize their economies in exchange for international aid.
Foreign debt: One of the main banners is the defense of pardoning countries’ foreign debts.
The Global Call against Poverty believes that, if the resources used for debt payment were used to implement government policies, there would be significant progress in the erradication of poverty.
The civil society campaign proposes the total cancellation of the “unpayable debts” of poor countries through a “just” and “transparent” process.
Trade: The most important international forum for introducing changes in trade rules is the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The Call wants an end to the practice of dumping and subsidies and, at the same time, intends to encourage the adoption of measures to protect public services from forced liberalization and privatization and guarantee the right to food and access to essential medications.
Translation: David Silberstein