London, 25th February 2010 - Last night, St Paul's Cathedral hosted the Global Poverty Project's 1.4 Billion Reasons church launch to an audience of over 800 which included members of the public and church groups from across the UK. Speakers at the event included John Sentamu, Archbishop of York and Douglas Alexander, Secretary of State for International Development. In addition, actor Hugh Jackman recorded a special message showing his support for the cause in which he stated: "It's time to re-energise this movement."
Hugh Evans, CEO of the Global Poverty Project, appealed to the hearts and minds of the audience with his ground-breaking presentation, 1.4 Billion Reasons, which, through words, pictures and film, graphically illustrates the need to eradicate extreme poverty.
Evans urged viewers to look beyond stereotyped views of trade and aid to help the 1.4 billion people who are still living on less than $1.25 per day, claiming that tackling extreme poverty is "this generation's greatest challenge". Evans drew renewed attention to the UN Millennium Goals and warned that, despite pledges on the issue, the global community is in danger of falling considerably short of the objectives by 2015.
Douglas Alexander emphasised the timeliness of the campaign to end poverty and the role that faith groups can play: "In these difficult economic times it is especially important that the public continue in their commitment to end global poverty."
He praised the work of the Global Poverty Project stating:
"I have been determined to bring the message of GPP to the UK. It is timely, urgent and important. Let's stand on the shoulders of giants and follow in the footsteps of those people who opposed slavery and those who marched for civil rights. Let's resolve to be the change we want to see in the world."
Archbishop John Sentamu said: "There are many kinds of poverty. There is a poverty of spirit with loneliness in the West. In India the problem is togetherness with diseases being spread."
Denise Robertson, TV presenter at This Morning, was another celebrity to lend her support to the cause, as she participated in a ceremonial Tug of War on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral.
For pictures of the event please click here.
The St Paul's Cathedral event was the platform for the launch to church communities of 1.4 Billion Reasons. The presentation will be rolled out across the UK in 2010 to universities, schools, different faiths and businesses.
About the Global Poverty Project
The Global Poverty Project (GPP) is a project designed to reinvigorate the campaign to end extreme poverty by informing, inspiring and activating individuals to take action, and to draw renewed attention to the UN Millennium Development Goals. This is a grand-scale project has already inspired thousands across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States. For more information, please visit: http://www.globalpovertyproject.com/
Global Poverty Project UK Activation Coordinator
Tel: +44(0)7 917 680 716
IBA – PR for Global Poverty Project
Tel: +44(0)1780 721433