UN Secetary-General Ban Ki-moon on the announcement that two targets of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) had been met last week.
These two targets were:
The Live Below the Line challenge has now been finished, for me, for at least two weeks now. I know I have been harking on about it a couple times on this, blogged about it here, stated my reasons why I was doing it, a few too many times BUT talking about it doesn’t hurt, especially if it raises more awareness.
I have talked about why I have done it but this video from the World Bank about the food prices, neatly sums up, in a visual way, why Live Below the Line is such an important campaign.
In case you can’t read - Donate: www.livebelowtheline.org.au/sophstomorrowLBL
In case you don’t know already - I will be living on AUS$2 a day for food and drinks to gain perspective what its like for the 1.4 billion people who live in absolute poverty. Absolute poverty means not having enough to cover all the necessities, where the cost of one day’s education means the loss of a meal. Where some things, such as education, health, medicine, are sacrificed for other things such as food, drinks.
Money fundraised will go towards the Oaktree Foundation’s work in Papua New Guinea.
$50 will provide a class in PNG with stationary for a year
$250 will give a brother and sister in Cambodia the opportunity to go to school for a year
$500 will help build a teachers house in Yangis, PNG
$1000 will provide training to set up a business, life skills, and microfinance for 3 years for four young people in East Timor
$4000 will provide 120 children with scholarships to go to school for a year in Cambodia
Sandy Holloway, former Sydney Olympics boss as quoted in an article - Australia’s foreign aid review suggests to cut international aid
Whilst I agree with Holloway’s remark about the notion of building a detention center as a classification of foreign aid, I am a little sceptical about his remark about doing less and do it better. If we, Australia, are to cut spending on foreign aid and donate less, then we shouldn’t be focusing on spending better but on sustainability. Donating money is one thing, but for countries that depend on foreign aid, sustainability is a key thing. For example Papua New Guinea. Australia donates a lot of its foreign aid to Papua New Guinea, one of the conditions attached to the foreign aid, is that an allocated amount must go towards education. Problem is though foreign aid has led to small increases in investment expenditures, it has also led to a decrease in health and education, albeit minor decreases. (To read more about the impact of foreign aid in Papua New Guinea, click here.) Why? Because the amount of aid that is given to Papua New Guinea for education is seen by the government not as an addition to the education budget but as the ‘allocated’ amount towards education. Thus education hasn’t been improving but has decreased.
That is why sustainability must be a key factor in foreign aid. Because we can’t have countries dependant on other countries because, even though it is beneficial in the short term, it hinders the aid-recipient country’s growth in the long run. And as most economists would know, growth is important for the country’s GDP and well-being.
Over the following few weeks, I will be posting posts about Live Below the Line. Live Below the Line (LBL) is a fundraising campaign run by The Oaktree Foundation and The Global Poverty Project to raise awareness that 1.4 billion people live on the Interational Recognized Extreme Poverty Line of US$1.25. That’S US$1.25 for food, drinks, clothing, insurance - everything that they need to survive.
This is an important issue, I believe, that needs to put into awareness, especially in a time where Australia’s aid budget might be cut. There are a lot of people doing this campaign, which is in its second year. So I shall be profiling some of this people, as well as explaining what is Live Below the Line, and the extent which it can help.
So one of the many celebrities endorsing this campaign is Hugh Jackman. This is his statement of support: