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“Can aid relieve poverty ?"
People's Action on "End Poverty Day" on 17th Oct
Kim Sam-kwon, Reporter
On October 17, World Poverty Elimination Day, the 'Committee for people's action for judgement on poverty issues' (Poverty Judgement Committee) held a morning press conference in front of Seoul Government Complex. They pointed out that "there are about 11 hundred million people in extreme poverty who are living on less than $1 a day and 27 hundred million people, a third of the world population, earn less than $2 a day".

These organizations urged "a mere 1.5% of the world population are monopolizing a quarter of the world's riches in the context of this serious poverty catastrophe" and that "poor people over the world could escape completely from poverty with the resources from these few super-wealthy".

According to the report published by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini, the millionaires of the world possess a collective $37.2 trillion in wealth.

"The principal offenders of the deepening poverty and inequality are international organizations and government policy"

The poverty judgement committee pointed that "governments and international organizations just offer enough aid so that people do not die of poverty without acknowledging the serious income disparity" and that "government policy and international organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank which represent only the interests of the rich, are the principal offenders of the deepening poverty and inequality".

The committee defined the concept of a 'basic living right' as "the basic right for everyone to be a full social participant" and "the right to worthwhile and fulfilling work, to have a secure and stable income as well as access to proper social services"

In the mean time, the committee urged the implementation of the following 10 demands for abolishing poverty:

△ Oppose the amendment of fundamental laws △ Establish a welfare system that supplies real needs △ Revoke the revisions of the health-care system △ Strengthen public social services △ Stop the industrialization and privatization of water △ Establish a minimum wage △ Withdraw the irregular worker law and guarantee basic labor rights for irregular workers △ End the current policy of violent control and management of street vendors, displaced and homeless people △ Enact a social housing policy to guarantee housing rights △ Assume social responsibility for financial debt

translated by Seo Sunyoung

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