October 7, 2008
ONE Campaign Urges Candidates to Keep Commitment to Fight Poverty
Washington, D.C—As Barack Obama and John McCain make final preparations for their debate tonight, the ONE Campaign launched an effort to ensure that the candidates don’t waiver on the commitments they have made to utilize U.S. foreign aid to save lives and restore America’s image around the world.
“As we face economic challenges here at home, we can't ignore our real need to do the necessary and effective things that rebuild America's reputation in the world and help us to achieve our goals of a safer and better world,” ONE’s Tom Gavin said.
“Programs with multiple benefits for America are the kind of investments we need, especially when dollars are tight. Medicines to treat preventable diseases like HIV, malaria and tuberculosis are proven investments. They are saving millions of lives each year, restoring America’s image around the world, and strengthening our security here at home,” Gavin added.
The online effort by ONE, an advocacy group with millions of members in the United States, is targeting the Obama and McCain campaigns, calling on them to stand up for the commitments they’ve made during the campaign to strengthen American efforts to stop diseases like malaria and HIV while helping people to lift themselves out of extreme poverty. The online petition reads:
As you work to find a solution to the global financial crisis, please do not waiver in your support for the world's poorest people. It is more important now than ever to stand up for effective, efficient solutions that save millions of lives, strengthen the global economy, and win the hearts and minds of people around the world. I’m keeping my commitment to fight global poverty, and I ask you to do the same.
“Both candidates have expressed that a president must be able to address more than one need at a time. Helping our neighbors through difficult times is what we do best; it defines us as Americans. What we’re doing works – and is extremely affordable,” Gavin said, noting that medicines for HIV cost as little as 36 cents a day, while a bed net that can prevent malaria-carrying mosquitoes from infecting children for five years, costs five dollars.
ONE members will attend the debate in Nashville. Already, more than 122,000 ONE members have signed a petition urging debate moderator Tom Brokaw to raise these issues with the candidates tonight.
Polling shows that 65 percent of voters rated as a very important goal for the next president to restore respect for U.S. through positive leadership on major global challenges. In battleground New Hampshire, the numbers are even higher. Nearly all Democrats (97%) and 70% of Republicans agree that America’s standing has suffered in recent years. In addition to a strong military, Democrats (91%) and Republicans (78%) agree that the United States also needs to improve diplomatic relations by doing more to help improve health, education and opportunities in the poorest countries around the world.
The ONE Campaign is a global organization uniting millions of people to press government leaders to fight extreme poverty and preventable disease around the world. For more information, visit www.ONE.org