Hunger — At Least Sign the Petition!

The ONE Campaign has a petition to President Bush to address the World Hunger Crisis.

Please go sign it.

Here’s the text:

President Bush,

The soaring cost of staple foods and the resulting hunger crisis has caused riots from Haiti to Bangladesh, threatens hundreds of thousands of people with starvation and could push one hundred million more people deeper into poverty. Please build on your recent commitment by taking immediate action to:

Prioritize issues of global poverty, including the world hunger crisis, on the agenda of the G8 Summit this July in Japan.

At the summit, secure commitments for additional resources for all types of food assistance and increased agricultural productivity in developing countries.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, pledging to set up a task force and raise $750 million per year in direct food aid, pointed out that

the Millennium Development Goals — adopted at a U.N. summit in 2000 to cut extreme poverty in half by 2015 — were not being met.

“We risk going back to square one, and we need to redouble efforts or betray the promises that we made to our people,” Ban said.

I always feared that the Millennium Development Goals, and the ONE Campaign in support of them, were fanciful in a world as greedy as this. But that’s no reason to turn our backs. The goals, to refresh anyone’s memory, are:

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day
Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger

2. Achieve universal primary education
Ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling

3. Promote gender equality and empower women
Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015

4. Reduce child mortality
Reduce by two thirds the mortality rate among children under five

5. Improve maternal health
Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio

6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
Halt and begin to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases

7. Ensure environmental sustainability
Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programs; reverse loss of environmental resources
Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water
Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020

8. Develop a global partnership for development
Develop further an open trading and financial system that is rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory
Address the least developed countries’ special needs. This includes tariff- and quota-free access for their exports; enhanced debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries; cancellation of official bilateral debt; and more generous official development assistance for countries committed to poverty reduction.
Deal comprehensively with developing countries’ debt problems to make debt sustainable in the long term
In cooperation with the developing countries, develop decent and productive work for youth.

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