Micah Challenge Calls on World Leaders to Account for MDGs Progress

A major campaign calling world leaders to account on the progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals is planned for 2007.

A major campaign calling world leaders to account on the progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals is planned for 2007. 'Blow the Whistle' will mark the halfway point and draw attention to the lack of sufficient progress in fulfilling the commitments made by world leaders in 2000 with the aim of halving poverty by 2015.

|PIC1|The campaign is initiated by the Micah Challenge, an international Christian response to the injustice of global poverty. In the UK, it seeks to build on the momentum created by the Make Poverty History campaign.

Andrew Tanswell, UK Director of the Micah Challenge, said: "2005 was marked by a fantastic groundswell of voices that called for substantial improvement to aid, trade and debt. We need to continue to press the UK government to do more to alleviate poverty and hold them to the promises they made in 2000."

In January 2007, the Blow the Whistle campaign will be launched. People from all sections of Britain's Christian community will be sending Blow the Whistle at Half Time postcards to the government, highlighting that we will be at the half way point, half way through the match.

A Blow the Whistle event in London is being planned for May which will precede the 2007 G8 summit in Germany (6 to 8 June), which aims to be a public and powerful demonstration in which tens of thousands are expected to blow the half time whistle to halve poverty.

Rev Joel Edwards, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance UK, said: "Our government along with 188 others around the world, made a promise, a covenant, to the poor. We want to hold our government accountable to do what they have said.

"We will measure it and hold them accountable for it. We are convinced that if we fail the poor the world will be a poorer place. We will be the global conscience of our leaders with, and on behalf of, the poor."

Matthew Frost, Chief Executive of Tearfund and Chair of the Micah Challenge Board of Directors, said: "I'm passionate about seeing poverty halved, and I know thousands upon thousands of Christians here in the UK, let alone the rest of the world are as well. We want to stand up, speak out and do something about it before it is simply too late."

The Millennium Development Goals laid down the following aims:

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/Aids, malaria and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental stability
8. Develop a global partnership for development

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