May 10th, 2013 11:24 AM UTC
By Dr Sipho Moyo
In a few weeks, the UK government will host a major international event in London called Nutrition for Growth: Beating Hunger through Business and Science. Happening just days before the 2013 G8 Summit in Lough Erne, it will bring together governments, businesses, scientists and civil society to examine strategies that could improve the quality and quantity of food available to the world’s poorest people.
Back in March I attended a highly energised meeting of African civil society organisations in Ethiopia, who had gathered for Africa’s biggest annual forum on agriculture and where we launched our report A Growing Opportunity. We all agreed an urgent message needed to be sent to the international community before the June summit in the UK.
As a result, ONE together with 36 other African organisations have written to UK Prime Minister Cameron asking his government to ensure that African-led agriculture is at the heart of the Nutrition for Growth event, and specifically the existing CAADP plans.
CAADP stands for the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program. It has already created momentum to reform agriculture in 40 out of 53 African countries and many more are joining. This makes it the single best existing framework that would support the G8 to deliver excellent results from their food security and nutrition investments on the continent.
CAADP will also become the central organising vehicle for the African Union year of Agriculture in 2014. African states have committed themselves become more accountable to their people on accelerated progress in fighting hunger and helping small-holder farmers access better investment, technology and markets to sell their produce.
African leadership, political will and investment is critical to realising the poverty reducing potential of African agriculture. The private sector and international community also has a very important supporting role to play in investing in African-led agriculture.
Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, has said, “Africa has potential, but it cannot eat potential. More coordinated action is needed”.
Rather than re-invent the wheel, the G8 must build on the momentum growing across Africa and fund the agriculture plans already in place.
May 9th, 2013 11:58 AM UTC
By Saira O'Mallie
This morning we delivered over 135,000 petition signatures for our Open for Development campaign to 10 Downing Street, home of the UK Prime Minister.
Thousands of ONE members are calling for the next set of poverty-busting goals to reflect the views and priorities of people living in poverty, and to be specific, measurable and accountable.
A High Level Panel, co-chaired by UK Prime Minister David Cameron are in charge of coming up with the new Millennium Development Goals, and we’ve been tracking them down around the world to get our campaign delivered.
Here is the message we delivered today:
As you work with the other High Level Panel Co‑chairs and Panelists to finalise your report and recommendations, and before you travel to New York next week for your final Panel meeting, I am writing on behalf of the 135,000 ONE members who have signed the enclosed ‘Open for Development’ petition. The petition calls on you, President Johnson-Sirleaf and President Yudhoyono to ensure that your recommendations reflect the views of the world’s most vulnerable people in the post-2015 framework, and to ensure that any new goals are specific, measurable and accountable.
Echoing your own development priorities for the UK’s G8 Presidency this year, transparency and accountability must be put at the heart of the post‑2015 framework. As well as robust citizen consultations in the design of the framework, we are calling for:
- transparency and accountability in monitoring investments and outcomes;
- improved statistical systems that are open and user-friendly (ie open data); and
- increased financing through both domestic and international resource mobilisation.
At the Monrovia meeting in January, ONE and Save the Children co-hosted an exhibition and panel discussion on transparency, accountability and the post-2015 agenda. The event was attended by members of the Panel, including President Johnson-Sirleaf, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Gunilla Carlsson, Betty Maina and John Podesta, along with Amina Mohammed, members of the Secretariat, and almost 200 Liberians. In the interactive breakout sessions, they drew up a series of recommendations for the Panel to consider, including a more inclusive consultation process and the collection of better data.
At the Bali meeting, we delivered our petition to Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. At that stage, there were 120,000 signatories. In addition, we also presented our preliminary findings from our ‘You Choose’ survey, which asked Malawians, South Africans and Zambians what they wanted from the new framework. The ‘You Choose’ initiative fed into the UN’s ‘My World’ programme which is collating survey results from around the world. More than 140,000 people have taken part in ‘You Choose’: among the top concerns of respondents were “an honest and responsive government” and “better job opportunities”.
As you work to finalise the Panel’s conclusions, please consider the views of our members and the millions of people living in extreme poverty. Setting goals that are specific, measurable and accountable will help to define a path to end extreme poverty by 2030.
A huge thank you to everyone who has supported the campaign. We’ll keep you updated on the progress as we keep pushing hard to make sure the voices of the world’s most vulnerable people are heard.
May 8th, 2013 1:25 PM UTC
By Jamie Drummond
Erik Charas is a campaigning journalist in Mozambique. He was recently arrested by local officials for asking government leaders difficult questions about shady deals done in Mozambique’s natural resources extraction sector.
Whether “Africa keeps its promise” to its people, the theme of this year’s World Economic Forum in Cape Town, depends in large part on how Mozambican and other African leaders respond to the probing questions asked by people like Erik.
The stakes could not be higher. Mozambique, like many other African nations across the continent, is discovering and developing vast natural resource reserves and untapping enormous amounts of resource wealth. Resource development offers a golden key to a much desired and heralded “economic transformation”. But the turning of this key depends on ensuring efficient and transparent management of resource revenues and the investment of these revenues into the continent’s physical and human infrastructure.
If Mozambique – like Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and others – gets this right, it could develop more rapidly and, above all, more inclusively, securing a prosperous future for all its citizens. These choices must be made now.
That is why ONE, along with its partners in the Publish What You Pay coalition, have been campaigning hard for transparency in the extractives sector in Europe and North America. We recently celebrated serious progress in this campaign as Europe agreed to mandatory reporting of payments by companies to governments in the extractives sector. It would be wonderful if African leaders now took this further and implemented legislation covering Johannesburg, Nairobi, Accra and other stock exchanges.
We are also supporting our partners in pushing for disclosure of “beneficial ownership” of dodgy shell companies – as lack of clarity around ownership facilitates hiding stolen assets and tax evasion – as well as technical assistance for African revenue authorities, and exchange of tax information conventions.
All these efforts can help authorities and citizens follow the money, and ensure funds hidden from revenue authorities in the murkier parts of the offshore system can be exposed, relocated and taxed accordingly. But it would be nonsense stopping at transparency only offshore.
Transparency of government budgets is equally important, from national to local level, so citizens can track resources and follow the money all the way to results where people live – kids immunised, educated, nourished, wells dug and working, electricity accessed even in remote rural areas, and small farmers properly supported and connected through farm-to-market roads.
With partners we are campaigning across these fronts so that African nations will have more domestic resources at their disposal, through increased revenue collection and economic growth, to invest in the continent’s infrastructure and meet all the promises African leaders have made to their citizens to end hunger, malnutrition, disease and extreme poverty, and to instead spread prosperity.
A new report from Kofi Annan’s Africa Progress Panel on African natural resource governance, being launched this week at the World Economic Forum, lays out much of what must be done to help secure the revenues needed for development on the continent.
Its policy recommendations make clear that African nations should be legislating for transparency in the natural resources sector, and how governments can make better use of those revenues – by channelling them into infrastructure, job creation, health, nutrition and education. If this happens, then the 2 billion African citizens of 2050, and all global citizens around the world, who will by then be relying on Africa for economic and political dynamism and leadership, will look back upon this time – the 50th anniversary of the African Union, and maybe even this very 2013 meeting in Cape Town – as pivotal turning points in the continent’s history.
This way lies the future that leaders such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu envisioned – that the twenty first century will be “the African century”. This way lies the realisation of the African Union’s own charter; of a resilient, vibrant Africa driven and determined by its own citizens.
This way also lies the realisation of Nelson Mandela’s dream – that this could be the generation to end extreme poverty and hunger. But the path towards such visionary progress wont be lit up if the Erik Charas’ of Africa are silenced and intimidated into not asking those probing, revealing, enlightening, questions.
Get the latest news and views from ONE at the World Economic Forum from tomorrow by following @ONECampaign on Twitter.
Apr 23rd, 2013 2:14 PM UTC
By Guest Blogger
I wanted to take some time to write to you about something close to my heart – food. But it’s not just close to my heart, it’s at the heart of every family and has a prime place in our homes. It can bind us to the best bits of life.
But right now we are living an awful reality. The food we eat – because it often lacks the proper nutrients – is killing us! Whether you’re in Tanzania or Texas, getting access to nutritious food for yourself or your family has become a daily battle. We are starved of food education and, as a result, don’t know what’s good for us and what’s not anymore.
This year alone over 2 million people will die because they are obese, while over 2 million children will die from malnutrition. That is unacceptable, and something has to be done.
The ONE Campaign and my Food Revolution Day have a lot in common. First, we don’t stay quiet. We refuse to sit back and let things like this go on. We spread the word and get messages about good food education and food practices out there, both locally and globally.
In a few weeks the leaders of the world will get together at a food summit, so we need to form one voice – one very loud, very proud voice. This is a chance to make a difference guys. It’s time for world leaders to realise that what we are eating is killing us, and that they have the power to stop it. Food is at the top of my agenda, it’s at the top of yours, and it’s time it goes to the top of theirs.
This is message we are sending them: World Leaders, help 25 million children reach their full potential by making measurable commitments to reduce chronic malnutrition by 2016.
I’m not a doctor. I’m a chef. I don’t have expensive equipment or medicine. I just use information, education and my voice. So I need you to join me if we want to be heard.
Whether you are fighting poverty and hunger, or obesity and diet-related disease, we need to change the way we think about food. It’s time for a food revolution. We can save millions of lives.
Jamie Oliver is a chef, campaigner and ONE Member
Apr 10th, 2013 6:34 PM UTC
By Eloise Todd
We did it. After months of our hard campaigning, last night European leaders reached a deal that requires oil, gas, mining, and logging companies to publish the payments they make to governments.
Previously, these payments were made in secret, fuelling corruption; but this victory will help promote accountability. Now citizens will be better able to ensure that the money generated in resource-rich countries is used for vital services like schools, roads and hospitals.
This deal is a historic milestone in the fight against corruption and your actions made all the difference.
More than 162 000 petition signatures; more than 8000 postcards and countless handwritten letters and tweets all made sure our voices couldn’t be ignored.
Help us spread the word that change is possible by shouting about this incredible news.
As Bono said, “Europe’s leaders have stepped up and delivered a gamechanging breakthrough tonight. Transparency is one of the best vaccines against corruption, and now citizens the world over will know what their country’s resources are really worth. I’m delighted for the activists that have campaigned so hard for this to happen and applaud the bravery of politicians who stood up to fierce lobbying and got the deal done.”
And it wouldn’t have happened without you. Thank you again.
Feb 27th, 2013 4:53 PM UTC
By Malaka Gharib
ONE co-founder Bono made the case that eliminating extreme poverty is possible by 2030 during his speech at the 2013 TED Conference in Long Beach, California, yesterday.
The 2005 TED Prize winner said that transparency, coupled with information technology, is helping to power the fight to the finish – and a new generation of fact-based activists, or “factivists,” could lead the way. Bono encouraged the audience of changemakers to fight apathy, cynicism and inertia and use evidence and statistics to map our path to the “zero zone.”
Extreme poverty has already been cut in half over the past 20 years – and by 2030, the number of people living in extreme poverty, those living on less than $1.25 a day, would be virtually zero. If we continue on the current trajectory of progress, we can truly make it possible.
“Why aren’t we jumping up and down about this? And 2028, 2030… that’s around the corner,” said Bono. “That’s only three Rolling Stones farewell tours away. Well, the opportunity is real, but so is the jeopardy. We can’t get this done until we really accept that we can get this done. Look at this graph. It’s called inertia… It’s how we screw it up. This one is really beautiful… it’s called Momentum.”
Bono wrapped up his speech with a call for citizens of the world to join ONE. “We in the ONE campaign would love you to be contagious, spread it, share it, pass it on,” he said. “By doing so, you will join us and countless others in what I truly believe is the greatest adventure ever taken. The ever-demanding journey of equality. Could we answer that clarion call of Nelson Mandela with science, reason, facts and dare I say it, emotion?”
Although his speech won’t be released to the public until later, here are some of our favorite stories and blog posts from Bono’s speech at TED so far:
Bono: Extreme Poverty Set to Vanish by 2028 – Mashable
Where the Kids Have a Name – Charles Kenny, Center for Global Development
TED will release the video from Bono’s talk in the near future. We’ll update you when we know more and can share it with you.
Photo credit: TED
Feb 12th, 2013 3:33 PM UTC
By Adrian Lovett
For months now, we’ve called and you answered. You signed our petition, wrote letters and sent postcards, delivering our critical message directly to leaders in capitals across Europe: leaders must protect lifesaving development aid in the on-going EU budget negotiations.
Your voice was heard.
When leaders arrived in Brussels last Thursday for what would become the final budget negotiation between governments, levels of development aid were being threatened with potentially deep cuts. But thanks in large part to your incredible campaigning in these final weeks, when the numbers were released, development aid to the world’s poorest was protected at current levels, despite cuts to the overall EU budget for the first time in history.
Though the EU still has a long way to go in order to keep its promises to the world’s poorest, we managed to avoid a disastrous step back. It was the voices of citizens across Europe that helped ensure that current levels of aid were protected.
However, the fight isn’t over yet. We’ll need you in this final battle of the campaign as we work to make sure the European Parliament will do everything within its power to protect lifesaving aid to the poorest before they sign off the deal.
Thank you for everything you’ve done to get us this far. We couldn’t do it without you.
Jan 30th, 2013 2:57 PM UTC
By Bill Gates
Today I am launching my Annual Letter. This year, I concentrate on the power of clear goals and accurate measurement–simple concepts really–to improve the lives of the poorest people around the globe. It may not be the sexiest of themes, but the proof of its impact is undeniable. The lives of the poorest have improved more rapidly in the last 15 years than ever before. During that time, the number of people living in extreme poverty has been reduced by half–extraordinary progress in a short period of time.
A core reason for that remarkable progress was the world’s commitment to setting clear goals and identifying the right measures to drive progress towards those goals. Since Melinda and I started our foundation, I’ve seen how powerful measurement can be used as a tool to guide our work for the world’s poor. When you do get it right, you can do powerful things. You know what’s working and can work on scaling the best solutions. You know what you’re doing wrong and can course-correct. And when you’re done, you can be confident of the impact of each intervention.
As it turns out, setting clear goals and finding the right measures are just as important for governments trying to figure out how to spend their aid budgets. As I say in the letter: “Historically, aid was largely discussed in terms of the total amount of money invested. Now that we’re more precisely measuring indicators like child mortality, people are able to see the impact aid has in stark terms—that it’s the difference between putting people on AIDS treatment or letting them die.”
Not only do clear goals and measures allow governments to spend their aid money more efficiently, it builds the political will to continue funding aid programs by proving how successful they are. It’s not just about governments giving other governments taxpayer money: it’s about one community helping another raise itself out of poverty.
The world can accomplish really big things when we unite around clear goals and develop the measurements to gauge progress. One of the best examples of how that works is the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that the UN set in 2000. The MDGs are a set of eight specific goals that are an unprecedented global effort to meet the needs of the world’s poorest by 2015. While we won’t reach all of the goals, the progress we’ve made toward each is staggering. The MDG target of reducing extreme poverty by half has been reached ahead of the deadline, as has the goal of halving the proportion of people who lack access to safe drinking water. 14,000 fewer children around the world are dying every day than in 1990. The number of mothers who die during childbirth has been reduced by almost 50 percent since the goals were set.
And that is what my letter is about. I hope that you’ll read it and engage with our first ever digital experience. Learn more, share it with your friends, and get involved by visiting billsletter.com.
Jan 23rd, 2013 12:01 AM UTC
By Adrian Lovett
Today, ONE joins 100 organisations in launching a big campaign to ensure everyone in the world has enough decent food to eat. Leading British charities and campaigners haven’t come together like this since the last time the UK hosted a G8 in 2005. Times have changed. Eight years ago, Facebook was a couple of dorms at Harvard. Few predicted that we would all be transmitting 140-character messages named after bird noises. And today’s most-followed tweeter, Justin Bieber, was 10 years old and doing his homework.
A lot of other things have changed too – especially in Africa. The number of people living in extreme poverty has dropped by 9%. 21 million more kids are enrolled in primary schools. Seventeen million fewer people contract malaria each year, while 5.4 million more people with HIV have access to life-saving medicine. The level of investment from international businesses is up 79%. And in a single decade, child mortality rates across 14 sub-Saharan African countries dropped by a staggering 40%.
This progress didn’t happen by accident. African leadership and resourcefulness, backed by the package of more and better aid and debt cancellation agreed at Gleneagles, has brought on these changes. It has saved lives, opened up life chances for millions and opened our eyes to how much more can be done. The rhetorical promise of 2005 that some found too grand – that we might actually be able to make extreme poverty a thing of the past – is now within this generation’s reach. In the next 20 years, it could be done.
And with it, the scourge of hunger could also be consigned to history. That’s the goal of Enough Food for Everyone IF… As an international member of the campaign, we share that vision. The world produces enough food for everyone, but not everyone has enough food – and as a result, more than 2 million children die each year because of malnutrition.
Changing this will require action in many different countries of course, and ONE’s members are active in Africa and around the world, holding their leaders to account. We can help African farmers and leaders transform the farming sector and their rural economies, through increased and more responsible private sector investment, through increased and more responsive smart aid, through helping African governments increase their tax take and through helping African activists ensure that money is better spent on supporting theircampaign against hunger and extreme poverty.
But with the international spotlight In Britain in 2013, there is a particular job to do in the UK. As well as the G8 presidency, this is the year we expect the UK to hit its 0.7% aid target. And the same year that the UK is chairing the Open Government Partnership and the Prime Minster is co-chairing the UN High-Level Panel looking at development goals beyond 2015.
So David Cameron has a precious opportunity and we want him to show bold and brave leadership. That’s why we’re working with Comic Relief, Save the Children, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Unicef and others, and we hope you’ll join us.
The campaign wants to see changes in a number of key areas:
ONE is passionate about agriculture. We know it is an absolutely central part of the solution to poverty and hunger. Our Thrive campaign has championed this cause around the world, and last summer we brought together our members and high-profile supporters like Mo Farah, Pele and Haile Gebrselassie to urge action as part of the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics.
And we’ve campaigned hard too for a revolution intransparency and accountability, for businesses and governments all over the world – so citizens have in their hands the information that enables them to protect their rights and determine their future. One example of this is our push on transparency in the oil, mining and gas industries to get more resources harnessed to the fight against poverty.
To find out more about the issues ONE believes the G8 should address in 2013, take a look here.
So please, add your voice to this campaign. Sign up here today and you’ll be kept up to date on how you can make a difference. ONE will be with you all the way.
Jan 18th, 2013 9:44 AM UTC
By Guest Blogger
Guest blog post from Malaria No More.
Last summer the Confederation of African Football endorsed United Against Malaria partnership – of which Malaria No More is a key member – as a premier social cause of the most-followed events in Africa: the 2013 Cup of Nations (AFCON) football tournament.
The most revered champions of Africa’s best loved sport talking about malaria during Africa’s most watched public events? A captive audience of 6.6 billion people, most of them living in malaria-endemic Africa? What could be more captivating!
The biggest names in African football and the top political leaders in Africa’s malaria fight signed onto the campaign, and lent their time to record public messages about malaria for their African audience. These include five elite footballers and five African presidents, including football legends Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto’o, and the first-ever female African head of state, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. TV, radio ads, and billboards were created which feature the players and presidents, targeting policy-makers and decision makers about investments in malaria programs, as well promoting calls-to-action with simple steps to prevent and treat malaria.
Didier Drogba’s Malaria Prevention PSA
To ensure these malaria messages are heard by football fanatics continent-wide, 10 pan-African TV/radio stations, including the biggest radio station in Africa and the official football tournament channel, advertisements in over 10 countries, and 75 billboards in more than 13 countries are helping get the job done.
In addition to the tremendous media support, the campaign launched at the African Union Summit to include more African Heads of State, and a TV spot about the campaign aired during the AFCON Draw and East Africa CECAFA tournament. During the AFCON games, the campaign will be included during AFCON half-times (when football fans are already tuned into watch their favorite footballers), in AFCON sportscasters’ dialogue during televised games, and at the AFCON Final Game’s closing ceremony?
Football stars in malaria prevention billboards around Africa
For Africa’s social media users, a 2-minute quiz is available on the United Against Malaria Facebook page for the chance to win Drogba-autographed swag, like a football or a jersey.
The International ONE Blog is a daily log of the anti-poverty movement. The site is operated by ONE staff, with guest contributions from ONE volunteers, members and allies.
The content of each post and each comment represents the views of that author and does not necessarily reflect the views of ONE. ONE does not support or oppose any candidate for elected office, and any post expressing support or opposition for a candidate is not endorsed by ONE.