Borgen Project: While US Congress is thinking about cutting US aid by 40%, the international organization "Global Poverty Project" (GPP) announces the launch of its first United States campaign on April 08, 2011 by challenging Americans to "Live Below The Line" of extreme poverty. The organization encourages people to participate in this campaign in order to gain critical insight into the significance of preserving basic, lifesaving resources for the world's 1.4 billion extreme poor. Participants will pledge to live on a food budget of $1.50 per day, as World Bank defined extreme poverty as living on $1.50 per day (adjusted from $1.25 to account for inflation), for five days staring from May 16.
Global Poverty Project is an Australia-based international educational and campaigning organization which considers public policy as the most effective tool for eliminating extreme poverty. It focuses on three distinct areas: Quality Aid, Fair Trade Practice, and Anti-Corruption Law Reform. Founded by Simon Moss and Young Australian of the Year Hugh Evans in 2008, GPP members have played a key role in increasing Australia's foreign aid relief from 0.3% to 0.5% GNP, have successfully lobbied Cadbury to use Fair Trade suppliers, and have made inroads into tackling UK legislation to improve laws against bribery.
"This is an incredible campaign that really gives us the chance to understand the realities of Extreme Poverty," quotes GPP Board Member and Actor Hugh Jackman. "It is certainly a challenge to eat and drink off of $1.50 a day for five days, but for 1.4 billion people, $7.50 is all they have not only for food, but also for living costs, clothing – everything! 'Live Below the Line' highlights the challenges that over one billion people are faced with everyday and urges us to do something about it."
According to Hugh Evans, "You must differentiate between treating the cause and treating the symptom. Aid that strictly targets symptoms walks a fine line between providing needed assistance and creating dependency. At Global Poverty Project our goal is to eliminate the root causes of Extreme Poverty at their most fundamental levels."
We surely hope that through this campaign people's understanding of the challenges of global poverty and their perception regarding the value of aid will change.