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.
Apr 30th, 2013 1:59 PM UTC
By Guest Blogger
Today our guest blogger is ONE member Adrian Luckie, who along with Neil Adams, founded Munch Street Food. They are supporting our Global Good Revolution campaign by inviting us along to their exciting UK events to help spread the word.
I am passionate about street food and feel that by working with an organisation like ONE, Munch Street Food can create street food events that help convey the important messages regarding food waste and world hunger and raise more interest for these worthy causes.
As a trader who is part of the new street food revolution I feel it’s important to always encourage healthy eating and, most importantly not to waste food, which has such a devastating impact in the world.
Last week we organised a street food festival at the London Marathon, alongside ONE and Small Green Shoots. We wanted to create an environment where people could immerse themselves in a cultural experience based around diverse levels of cultural cuisine, highlighting food waste and food poverty and celebrate a platform for new talent sourced from inner city communities.
I am delighted that Munch Street Food and ONE have started to collaborate spreading the Actions Speak Louder message through our street food events. We will be asking some of the traders at our events to take part in the campaigns by adapting their menus to introducing sweet potato dishes, salads and healthier options.
Munch Street Food also works with organisations like Small Green Shoots educating the younger generation about these issues and offering them the platform to further develop their talents.
Our next free event is at the iconic More London Scoop on Saturday 25 May. We’ll have fantastic street food, great music entertainment and another opportunity to raise awareness of ONE’s campaigns. Come along if you are in the London area!
Have you joined our Global Food Revolution campaign yet? No? Get involved!
Apr 25th, 2013 9:16 AM UTC
By Saira O'Mallie
I can honestly say I have never been awake for the London Marathon. I like sleeping, and always felt it was a lovely event for two sorts of people that I am not – runners and morning people.
So when my alarm went off at 6am (again ONE! Why are you always making me get up so early?!) to head to Potters Field Park and set up our stall at the Munch Street Food Festival I did not know what to expect.
Here’s what I learnt:
1. The London Marathon is an amazing event and the people who go along and cheer the runners are fantastic – as are the runners themselves.
2. Munch Street Food, who invited us to join their event and a whole series of events, are wonderful.
3. It is absolutely possible to have fun, eat amazing food, enjoy the sunshine AND take action to ensure that nutrition gets on the agenda of world leaders.
Thanks to our terrific volunteers, over 150 new members took action in support of the campaign.
I’ve been banging on about sweet potatoes since World Food Day last year because they, along with other investments, could help save the lives of 300 children every single day.
That’s a message we need to keep shouting about and sharing. Over 160,000 people have so far called on world leaders to help 25 million children reach their full potential by making measurable commitments to reduce chronic malnutrition by 2016.
Let’s keep banging on about it till they do.
I love sweet potatoes so much that next time I will be dressed as one. If that doesn’t entice you I don’t know what will.
Mar 14th, 2013 12:48 PM UTC
By Michael Healy
As the budget season approaches, commentators are lining up to offer the government and particularly the Chancellor their advice on how he should go about slicing the pie come 20th March. The latest in a long line is Lord Ashcroft and Ian Birrell who argued on Conservative Home and in the Guardian, respectively, that the time has come to end the ringfence on the aid budget.
The upcoming budget represents an opportunity for George Osborne to meet the 0.7% of GNI international spending target on international aid. If he announces his intention to keep this pledge (which appeared in each of the major parties’ manifestos) the UK will be the first G8 country to reach the target, and just the sixth country in the world to do so.
Lord Ashcroft argues that aid is “ineffective”, yet if this target is reached the difference it will make to millions of lives around the world is incredible. Between 2011 and 2015, British aid will vaccinate over 80 million children – one child every two seconds – saving 1.4 million lives. British aid has also ensured that 5.3 million more children have received primary education between 2010 and 2012.
Mr Birrell’s article also ignores the successes of aid and chooses to focus solely on the fact that some aid projects fail. Aid is at its best when it works with governments, civil society and the private sector to help people pull themselves out of poverty. An example of a now booming business idea that is encapsulates this is M-Pesa, the mobile money service from Vodacom, seed-funded by the Department for International Development. You’d think it would be the sort of thing that Mr Birrell would be shouting about from the rooftops.
The UK is an undisputed world leaders when it comes to international development, something of which we should all be proud. Around the world the UK is synonymous with compassion, transparency and good practice when it comes to our development work.
Lord Ashcroft also suggests that the Prime Minister has indicated that some aid money may be diverted to the Ministry of Defence. As we’ve pointed out elsewhere, this is incorrect, and is in danger of creating a false and unhelpful debate of “defence vs aid” spending.
Lord Ashcroft has implored David Cameron to lift the ringfence to “show he is listening”. Just yesterday at Prime Minister’s Questions, David Cameron said “I believe we shouldn’t break a promise we made to the poorest people in our world”. Mr Cameron has showed that he is listening. He is listening to the ONE and IF campaign members who have been lobbying their MPs telling them about the importance of reaching 0.7; he is listening to the 28 CEOs of British business who wrote to the FT this week explaining the importance of aid to emerging markets; and he is listening to the millions of people around the world who are lifting themselves out of poverty thanks in part to British aid.
Mar 13th, 2013 9:00 AM UTC
By Helen Hector
Young activists in the UK have been getting messy to raise awareness about the biggest ever national campaign to end global hunger.
Ten points if you recognised the Rudyard Kipling poem If which has been re-worked for this film, and ten bonus rock-geek points if you knew that alternative metal band Enter Shikari provided the soundtrack and voiceover.
Enough Food for Everyone IF is a movement of over 100 organisations, including ONE, who have come together in 2013 to influence a series of big opportunities in the UK that could kick start the end of global hunger – including the G8 Summit which is being held in Northern Ireland in June.
The message is simple: there is enough food in the world for everyone, but not everyone has enough food to eat. The solutions to end global hunger are there, but we need to come together and make world leaders act if it’s ever going to become a reality.
If you’re 16-25 there are three exciting campaign missions to get involved in, including a creative challenge that led this group of activists to hold the paint fight. Find out more and download the campaign toolkit.
And if you are over 25 and feeling really annoyed that someone has decided you’re too old to throw paint and like alternative metal, you can either join in anyway (we won’t tell), or see what else you can do to support the campaign.
Feb 21st, 2013 2:43 PM UTC
By Adrian Lovett
This blog originally appeared in the Huffington Post
The aid debate in the UK at the moment needs one of those furniture labels: “highly flammable – keep away from naked flame”. If you go near it with anything at all combustible, you’re likely to get burnt.
There’s a big question over whether David Cameron’s reported comments on the way back from his India trade mission, in which appeared to suggest using more aid money for military spending, actually amounted to much. But in the fevered pre-budget climate in Britain, they have caused excitement and alarm.
The fact is, channelling aid money through defence budgets on any scale would quickly hit a large brick wall in the form of the internationally-agreed definition of Official Development Assistance (which Downing Street have made clear the prime minister does not want to change). As Alex Evans points out in his blog on Global Dashboard, the rules as to what can and cannot be deemed ‘aid’ (or Overseas Development Assistance – ODA – as the wonks call it) are pretty strict. The only spending that would be allowed through the MOD on peacekeeping or security is the sort of spending that the Department for International Development is undertaking already (human rights, rehabilitation of demobilised soldiers, mine removal etc.). Indeed, DFID is currently ranked as the most transparent and effective development department in the world and the UK’s security-focused aid spending was recently ranked as above average by the Center for Global Development; above the likes of the United States, Netherlands and Sweden.
However, while in truth there is little chance of Mr Cameron diverting a large amount of aid money to pay for defence, the way his comments have been seized upon risk setting up a false debate, with those backing aid spending and those backing defence spending at each others’ throats.
Look at the numbers. As our neat little tax calculator shows, a UK taxpayer earning £30,000 per year will pay £7,065 in tax. Of that, £67 will go to the aid budget and £403 towards defence. That leaves £6,595 for everything else. A proper debate about government spending should surely recognise that pitching defence spending against aid is like robbing a pretty hard-up Peter to pay an even more impoverished Paul. If you want to find where the money is in the UK budget, you don’t go to aid and you probably don’t go to defence either.
As for relieving poverty in countries hit by conflict: everyone who has worked in development knows it is hard, but it can be done. The DFID is right to look more closely at this, as the secretary of state Justine Greening promised to do when she set out her thinking at a ONE event two weeks ago.
Reducing poverty through effective aid bolsters the UK’s strategic and foreign policy interests. For relatively small amounts of money the UK is able to play a key role in some of the most vulnerable and unstable parts of the planet. As former chief of defence staff Lord Stirrup has argued, “Helping people in these areas to self-reliance… to lift themselves out of poverty and to counter ignorance, will reduce the risk of conflict”.
The UK government is showing global leadership in meeting the UN target to spend 0.7% of income on development in the year that we host the G8. Transparent aid, monitored for effectiveness, has had an enormous catalytic effect. Globally, extreme poverty has halved and child deaths dropped by more than 40% just two decades. The day when aid is no longer needed is getting closer. To turn away now would be in nobody’s interest.
Follow Adrian Lovett on Twitter: www.twitter.com/adrianlovett
Feb 15th, 2013 10:24 AM UTC
By Guest Blogger
Meet our January ONE Member of the Month, Mark Shaw! Mark is a student at University College London, and in this guest blog he tells us what he’s been up to.
2013 has been really busy so far. I’ve been sorting out a conference on Global Health at UCL to increase support for ONE and other global health societies at my university, spread the campaigns on campus.
The conference was a huge success, with 120 tickets sold and ten fantastic speakers, plus plenty of people leaving inspired. Topics included women’s health, non-communicable diseases, health worker migration, HIV AIDs and conflict, which had a special focus on the conflict in Syria. ONE were incredibly supportive and helped put us in touch with some of our speakers.
As a result of the conference, we have formed a group of ONEers at UCL who hope to keep events coming throughout the year, including debates, lobbying opportunities and campaigning.
I also went to the launch of the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign to tackle global hunger held at Somerset House. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet other ONE members from across the country.
Just last week I joined some bleary-eyed ONE campaigners at 7am at the Eurostar terminal in London, hoping to catch David Cameron on his way to Brussels for the EU budget meeting and do some last minute lobbying. We didn’t manage to spot him but did hand out lots of campaign leaflets to travellers and chat to people about saving the EU aid budget from cuts.
Massive thanks to Mark for all his tireless campaigning this month! If you want to get more involved with ONE events and campaigns in your area, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Feb 6th, 2013 12:35 PM UTC
By Diane Sheard
2013 is a crucial year for development, with the UK in a unique position to demonstrate international leadership in the fight against extreme poverty. Just last week, we saw the Prime Minister visit Liberia to discuss the post-2015 development agenda, and here in the UK we saw the launch of the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign which has started the countdown to the G8 Summit in June.
With so much going on, we are especially pleased that Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening, will give a keynote speech at a ONE event on Thursday 7 February. In her speech, entitled ‘Development in Transition’, we expect Ms Greening to set out her priorities for the year, and explain how she and the Department for International Development will respond to the main challenges in the fight against global poverty.
Alas, spaces at the event are limited, but we still want ONEmembers to get involved! Tweet us @ONEcampaignUK with your reply to the following question and we’ll make sure that Ms Greening and everyone else in the room sees it:
“What’s the biggest thing that could make a difference in the fight to end extreme poverty?”
Please use the #ONEquestion hashtag. We will be displaying tweets at the event, and will read out the best ones.
You can follow the event as it happens on Twitter, and we will be posting a full report of Ms Greening’s speech later this week.
Feb 6th, 2013 12:31 PM UTC
By Isabelle De Lichtervelde
Tomorrow, EU leaders will meet in Brussels to decide the EU budget for 2014-2020, including the proposed €51 billion of lifesaving EU aid to the world’s poorest.
EU aid works. Between 2004 and 2009, it helped enrol more than 9 million children in primary education, vaccinate 5.5 million children against measles, and connect more than 31 million people to clean water. If the proposed €51 billion EU aid budget is adopted, in the next 7 years 15 million more children could be enrolled in school, 9 million more could be vaccinated and 51 million more people could be connected to clean water.
But proposals for smart European aid are under serious threat. At the last summit in November, proposed development assistance to the world’s poorest was slashed by €6.1bn. And some leaders want to make even deeper cuts that could take funds below current spending levels: this would have a devastating impact.
Ahead of this week’s critical talks, ONE members from all over Europe have been rallying to ask European leaders to protect lifesaving EU aid at the proposed levels.
In the next step of our Lifesaver campaign, ONE estimated that it would cost just 3 euro cents (or 2 pence) per week, per EU citizen to reverse proposed cuts to aid for the poorest. ONE members have therefore decided to make their small change count! In the UK, over 2000 ONE members have asked for postcards to send their 2 pence to Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to protect proposals for lifesaving EU aid in the budget negotiations. In Germany, ONE members have sent postcards to Chancellor Angela Merkel, adding their 3 cents. In Brussels, the team collected by hand over 230 postcards for President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy including around 60 Brussels-based interns and young professionals who came to our meet-up last week. ONE Brussels hand delivered postcards to Van Rompuy’s staff and passed on the message that Europeans are counting on him to ensure their voices are heard. ONE has also started handing in postcards to the other European governments at their embassies in Brussels.
In France, as part of the French version of ONE’s Lifesaver campaign, “sauveteur du siècle”, ONE members have mailed more than 500 postcards to President François Hollande, urging him to make sure that, in Winter sales season, EU leaders don’t try to make savings on the back of the world’s poorest.
In parallel, ONE also estimated how much it would cost each government per year to reverse the cuts to the proposed €51 billion for EU aid. For Germany that’s €174mn, for the UK €113mn and for France €154mn – peanuts compared to overall annual government spending.
Beside the “Make Your Change Count” action, ONE has also launched a tumblr blog (in French, German and English), a hilarious take on the serious day-to-day work of Lifesaver campaigners fighting to protect aid in the EU budget.
Finally, in order to help people get their heads around the confusing EU budget figures, we have produced an infographic on what current cuts on the table to the proposal for EU development aid could actually mean on the ground. The figures are stark: if the proposed cuts are agreed on, 1.9 million less pupils could be enrolled in primary school. If deeper cuts are decided, the impacts would be even worse. The infographic is also available in French and in German.
Why not help spread the word? You can start by signing ONE’s petition to protect European aid.
And to learn more about the impact of EU aid on the ground read these 5 stories about successful EU-funded projects in Africa.
This week really matters – we’ll keep you updated and hope to see EU leaders doing the right thing tomorrow and protecting lifesaving EU aid for the world’s poorest.
Jan 29th, 2013 6:19 PM UTC
By Guest Blogger
Guest post from ONE member Francesca Washtell:
Last Wednesday ONE joined together with leading UK charities at Somerset House in London to launch the new Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign, aiming to make this year the beginning of the end of global hunger.
It’s a bold campaign- can we ever mark a single year as the one in which we can start to end global hunger? A few of us got to quiz ONE staff on this issue and the nature of the campaign when we met at ONE London office before heading down to Somerset House. It’s worth pointing out that there isn’t a typical kind of ONE campaigner. We come from all backgrounds- from medical students to retirees, from those involved for two weeks to those who’ve committed their time for ONE and its predecessor campaigns for almost a decade. For us it’s the issues that matter, so there are no criteria we have to meet and no subject we have to have studied before we got here.
ONE’s approach will emphasise areas it has already been extremely active in- particularly supporting the agricultural, aid and transparency goals of the IF campaign. Talking to ONE staff they explained how versatile the campaign is, and how every organisation involved will be able to focus on different issues that all feed in to the wider goal.
If I had any reservations about the campaign beforehand, it was this conversation that made me the most optimistic. The best international campaigns are typically very inclusive, allowing all the organisations involved and, most importantly, their supporters, to work towards a goal from different angles, emphasising each organisation’s strengths in the process. Global hunger is a varied and complex process, and ending it will never just be about fixing a single cause. As the biggest campaign since 2005’s Make Poverty History, the strength of Enough Food For Everyone IF’s will be in its breadth.
Nothing compares to actually being there at a launch- even when it’s during the coldest, snowiest weeks the UK has seen this winter! There were impressive fact-filled animations and video messages from Bill Gates and activist celebrities such as Orlando Bloom and David Harewood, and the whole event made Twitter go pretty crazy. If you watched it live online you’ll have seen that one of the key speakers of the evening was Bill Nighy. No one rallies the troops quite like Bill- he’s a celebrity who seems to completely understand the urgency and weight that campaigns like these carry.
Everyone involved sees the problem with the world producing enough food, but not everyone having enough to eat. By the end of the evening our feet were pretty cold, but it was worth it to stand there and be a part of the launch. IF will have many channels- we can use 2013 to say there will be Enough Food For Everyone IF politicians start listening, land grabs are stopped and governments and businesses start enforcing the right levels of tax and transparency. Going back to my original question, can we really single out 2013 as the year to start ending global hunger? From the support we saw last Wednesday and the way the campaign will work, I think we’re in with a very good chance. It’s still and IF now, but by the end of the year I hope we MAKE it happen.
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.