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End Extreme Poverty in 2005?

No way. But we can still do something significant.
2005This article is part of CT's digital archives. Subscribers have access to all current and past issues, dating back to 1956.

In the "join us now" section of makepovertyhistory.org, Bono is pictured giving a peace sign and Bob Geldof is shown taking off his hat to you. What do these two famous rockers want?

First, they need your e-mail address. Second, they want to end poverty in 2005.

"When thousands and thousands and thousands of people send a well-timed text, a short e-mail, or leave a phone message, change begins to take place. … We know that with enough noise made in the right way to the right people at the right time, extraordinary changes can take place. We actually have a chance to make poverty history in 2005. If not our generation—who? If not in 2005—when?"

Jeffrey Sachs, an economist and U.N. adviser, is less optimistic. But not by much. In his book The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time (Penguin, 2005), he lays out a 20-year plan for ending extreme poverty—the kind that kills more than 30,000 people each day.

Let's pray that Sachs and others succeed, in 2005 or by 2025.

It's exciting to see many celebrities—some of them strange bedfellows, like Pat Robertson and George Clooney—banding together with faith-based aid organizations and ordinary citizens to communicate to the world's richest nations that they can do something to help end poverty.

In the United States, they formed the ONE Campaign, and made their goals known through the striking ads in which A-list celebs click their fingers every three seconds. That's how often, they tell us, a child dies because of poverty. Then there were the live rock concerts around the time of the G-8 Summit. And those people you run into wearing white bands on their wrists? They also long to end poverty.

So far the antipoverty advocates, who belong to the umbrella ...

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