At the Millennium Summit in September 2000 the largest gathering of world leaders in history adopted the UN Millennium Declaration, committing their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and setting out a series of time-bound targets, with a deadline of 2015, that have become known as the Millennium Development Goals.
Quantifiable, time-bound goals for ending extreme poverty. Today, we are at the mid-way point in achieving these goals, yet progress has been far too slow in many parts of the world. From their site, the MDG Project says that "The crisis is most severe in sub-Saharan Africa where, despite some successes such as increased primary school enrollment, the majority of countries are not on track to achieving the MDGs."
Today, with the United States economy in crisis, with fuel costs at astronomical rates, with food shortages and food costs soaring, with AIDS still unsolved, the question arises: what can I do, as an individual, to contribute to end world poverty? What can I do, currently self-employed and with an uneven income, do to end world poverty?
Well, actually, there are plenty of things I can do. Slow Food supports good, clean and fair food, with a focus on local growers. I can support businesses that are green. I can recycle. If I focus on small, local actions, and put these actions out into the world, that energy spreads.
The cost of poverty is high - wasted minds, wasted potential, wasted lives. We can do better.