Page last updated at 04:32 GMT, Friday, 17 October 2008 05:32 UK

World marking UN anti-poverty day

By Mark Doyle
World Affairs Correspondent, BBC News

Slum in Karachi, Pakistan
This year's anti-poverty day falls in the middle of a global financial crisis

Activists around the world are organising marches, rallies and concerts to mark the UN's International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

The UN says nearly three billion people - nearly half the world's population - live on less than $2 a day.

It says it is trying to address the situation by working towards the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals.

Last year, 43 million people participated in the anti-poverty day in support of the goals, UN officials say.

Remittances affected

This year's International Day for the Eradication of Poverty falls in the middle of a global financial crisis.

The leaders of Brazil and India, two key developing nations, have warned that poor people should not be punished for the mismanagement of the rich.

But the credit crisis is bound to impact on the poor world, even in countries that are marginalised from the main economic circuits.

The Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP), which claims to be the largest civil society network in the world, says for example that vital wage remittances to poor South American countries from Latinos working in the US are being adversely affected.

Events to mark the world anti-poverty day include a march through the Chilean capital, Santiago, and a concert in Singapore.

Activists at these events may reflect that the UN's Millennium Development Goals - which include an aspiration to halve the proportion of people living in poverty by the year 2015 - look unlikely to be achieved in most of the countries of Africa.

But many people in India and China have in recent years been helped out of poverty through economic growth.

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