Australians drive campaign to end poverty

11:06, May 08, 2010      

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Young Australians on Saturday will embark on a national road trip to Australia's capital city, Canberra in a bid to help end extreme poverty across the globe.

Coordinator of the trip, The Oaktree Foundation, said poverty has affected almost one in five people worldwide, but Australians can help end the problem.

"In just 20 years we have halved extreme poverty," the foundation's general manager Nick Allardice told Australian Associated Press.

"We must ensure that momentum is not lost."

Allardice said Australia needed to invest 70 cents (62.13 U.S. cents) from every 100 dollars (88.76 U.S. dollars) of national income to ensure the continuation of successful aid programs focusing on education and immunization.

The 1,000 activists planned to drive the Make Poverty History campaign through 100 cities, aiming to collect 40,000 signatures along the way.

Ambassadors will target marginal electorates in each state, pushing for an improvement in Australia's foreign aid contribution ahead of the election.

The road trip will end at Parliament House on May 12, ahead of a national two-day summit on world poverty, where Foreign Minister Stephen Smith and World Vision CEO Tim Costello were due to speak.



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