Thursday, 22 October 2009

Global action against poverty campaign breaks world record

More than 173 million people across the globe participated in the ''Stand Up, Take Action, End Poverty Now'' events, claiming the Guinness World Record for mass mobilisation.

NAIROBI, KENYA (OCTOBER 22, 2009) REUTERS - A global action campaign against poverty dubbed 'Stand up, Take Action' broke a world record for the largest number of people mobilizing for one cause at the same time, the United Nations Millenium campaign said on Thursday (October 22).
Stand Up and Take Action, a campaign of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) which sets out to eradicate poverty across the globe by 2015 by using popular artists in advocacy, witnessed a massive turnout of people worldwide over the weekend.

"Last night, we got a message from Guinness that we had actually shattered the world record, and that all together globally, 173 million people in events across the world, over 3,000 events across the world, in more than 120 countries, stood up and took action demanding that they want poverty to end.", said Sylvia Mwichuli, the UN Millenium Campaign's Acting Deputy Director for Africa.

The record for biggest mobilisation was broken in 2006, the event's inception year when approximately 23 million people participated.

The number grew exponentially, as the event kept shattering its own record year after. By 2009, it had increased by more than seven times since it first began.

This year's leg comprised of some 3,000 global events, including the participation of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in New York, that of Nepalese president Ram Baran Yadav, a concert by Irish band U2 and one by legendary Nigerian artist Femi Kuti.

Through these events and numbers, Mwichuli believes global policy will have to be affected.

"We hope that these figures are going to translate into real actions, through these actions we have had thousands of policy related actions where we have provided petitions to governments both from the grassroots to the national level, we have demanded that governments must allocate resources to development programs.", said Mwichuli.

The UN estimates that almost half of the world lives on less than two US dollars a day, and one in six people does not receive adequate nutrition.

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