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EC ‘wrapped up’ in fight against poverty

Published on June 16, 2005

17 June 2005

BRUSSELS — As part of the global call to combat poverty, the European Commission’s headquarters in Brussels — the Berlaymont building — was ‘wrapped’ in a white band for Africa on Thursday.


The European Commission takes up the fight against poverty

It was the first of several well-known buildings across Europe to be ‘wrapped’ in coming months.

The Coliseum in Italy, the Brandenburger Tor in Germany and the Trocadero’s buildings which sit either side of the Eiffel Tower will also be wrapped with two white bands.

The effect of a large white band around the EC building was created by closing the shutters on the windows of floors five and six from 10.30am until 3pm.

Civil society groups across Europe are urging for a firm commitment to alleviating world poverty. Thursday’s ‘wrapping’ was part of the ‘Global Call to Action against Poverty’ or GCAP campaign for short.

And it was a call answered by EC President Jose Manuel Barroso and Development and Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Louis Michel. They promised to deliver the message to the European Council, which will soon draw up a package on aid, debt and trade.

Barroso said the conflict over the EU’s budget and Constitution should not divert attention away from helping the poor. He said hunger and AIDS in Africa were “the real problems of our time”.

“We must not allow ourselves to accept the present reality, in which 25,000 people die every day from hunger, in which 25 million people have died from AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Europe is already taking a lead, but we can and we must do more,” he said.

“Europe must lead the way in the fight against poverty,” agreed Belgian singer Axelle Red, who attended Thursday’s wrapping ceremony.

As a long-time campaigner against poverty and one of the headline acts for the Live 8 concert in Paris, Red also said “when a child dies from poverty-related causes every three seconds, we cannot afford to waste any more time”.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news