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Oxfam urges public to Wear the White Band to Make Poverty HistoryOxfam urges public to Wear the White Band to Make Poverty History
Thursday, 10th March 2005

Today, Oxfam Ireland urged the public around Ireland to wear the White Band to Make Poverty History.

The White Band is the symbol of the international MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY campaign. Launched in Ireland this week the Make Poverty History campaign is urging action by leaders around the world to honour their promises to help the poor of the world.

"Time is running out for millions living in poverty. Rich countries must act now." said Dr. Brian Scott, Executive Director of Oxfam Ireland. "It is absolutely shameful that at the start of the 21st century, more than a billion people are living in abject poverty, and more than 100 million children don't go to primary school."

2005 could, at last, be a seismic year for the global poor, and to MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY. At three key events - the G8 summit, the UN special Session on the Millennium Development Goals and the Ministerial conference of the World Trade Organisation - the most powerful and wealthy countries in the world will debate trade rules, aid, and the unsustainable debt of developing countries.

"Political leaders, both here in Ireland and around the world, this year have the opportunity to do something real about global poverty. They must use these events to make it happen." continued Dr. Scott. "But they won't without political pressure. So, we are calling on everyone to create that pressure. Please wear the white band. Write to your public representatives. Make your voice heard for a fair break for poor people."

White bands are being sported by celebrities and have become the 'must have' fashion accessory of the year. Soul singer Lemar said, "Singing on Band Aid 20 made me realise just how many people in the world are so poor. It's awful and it's not right that anyone in today's world should die of hunger. There should be enough food to go around for everybody. That's why I'm happy to wear the white band and support MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY."

The white bands, sporting the Make Poverty History logo are available to purchase from Oxfam Ireland shops around Ireland costing 1 Euro. Suzie Hamilton, Campaigns Officer, Oxfam Ireland, said: "The message is getting through to the public and we're gathering new supporters for the campaign daily, through the simple action of wearing a white wrist band. It shows the huge level of concern about trade justice, debt and aid."

For further information or to organise an interview please contact: Oxfam Ireland Press Officer Paul Dunphy 01 6040706 or see www.oxfamireland.org


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