Ending poverty is a huge task. That’s why we tackle the big issues that keep poor countries poor.
Tax dodging, corporate abuse, broken aid promises and unfair trade rules create a global economic system that tips the scales against the world’s poorest people. And they’re all things we can help change from the UK.
We work on four key areas:
Mary Kamara lives in Kola Tree, a poor community in Sierra Leone. She has been trained by ActionAid as a birth attendant. Eighty per cent of maternal deaths could be prevented by a skilled birth assistant. Yet trained health workers attend just one third of births in the poorest countries.
Governments in developing countries such as Sierra Leone lose three times more to tax havens than they receive in aid each year.
If Sierra Leone’s government had more money to train women like Mary, they could save thousands of lives.
At ActionAid, we are;
- campaigning for corporations to take responsibility for paying their taxes
- demanding that governments cooperate to increase pressure on tax havens
- looking to establish stronger tax authorities in developing countries, spending aid money better
- doing much-needed research into corporate tax avoidance globally
Add your voice today - join our tax justice campaign and see to it that poor countries can invest in essential public services like teachers, doctors, roads and water.
Thoko Mpulo has a small scale farm in South Africa. However, without proper investment and support from government, many farmers like Thoko are struggling to make use of the land and support themselves and their families: “We don’t want to depend on Government” she says, “We just want a kick start.”
Rich countries give a lot of aid through international institutions such as the IMF and World Bank - which they ultimately control. Strings attached to aid mean that poor countries have been pushed to sell their public services. These conditions have often done more harm than good - particularly for the poorest people. Developing countries need more & better aid, with 100 per cent debt cancellation now - to lift millions out of poverty and help secure their basic rights.
- Demanding that aid is explicitly and solely used for reducing poverty
- Lobbying rich governments to keep their promise to contribute 0.7% of national income as international aid
- Calling for aid money to be better quality and free from harmful conditions (like being tied to the sale of goods and services from rich countries)
- Calling for the World Bank and IMF to be truly democratic, allowing developing nations to have a voice and challenge policies that affect their citizens
- Researching how aid is spent and where it is needed
Across Asia the people who make our clothes, mainly women, earn half of what they need to meet their families’ basic needs, such as food and sending their children to school. Women in factories commonly don’t drink water to avoid taking toilet breaks and some don’t even stop to eat during the day.
Paying a fair wage to workers is simple. If retailers paid just ten pence more towards the cost of a cheap school uniform, workers’ wages could double.
At ActionAid, we’re;
- joining forces with an alliance of Asian workers to demand retailers pay a living wage
- campaigning to ensure corporations don’t abuse the rights of poor people
- demanding that companies in the Ethical Trading Initiative, like Tesco and M&S, keep their promises to pay their workers enough so they’re not still in poverty
- doing research and reporting on workers wages in developing countries
The Who Pays? campaign: after years of campaigning, a supermarket watchdog was established with the power to fine supermarkets.
Lynette Karen Atieno Muga lost her source of income when trade liberalisation brought cheap sugar imports into Kenya. The global trade rules are skewed towards rich trading nations and big corporations. Rich countries – particularly the US and the countries of the EU – continue to press poorer countries to accept new trade rules to 'liberalise' and open up their markets to free trade.
This threatens the livelihoods of millions of small-scale farmers and fishermen, and could force thousands of local companies out of business. It could also mean big falls in government revenue - meaning poor country governments have less money to spend on health and education.
- calling for an international trade system that will help end poverty
- lobbying the UK government and other rich countries to ensure that governments, particularly in poor countries, can choose the best solutions to end poverty and protect the environment
- researching into the effects of liberal trade and alternatives
photo : ©Mark Chilvers/ActionAid