ONE Campaign looks back on 2008

I just got an e-mail update from the ONE Campaign, offering a year-in-review feature about the Campaign’s actions in 2008.  It’s a nice overview of some big events in global health and development: I’ve included the full text below for anyone who’s interested.

Dear ONE Member,

In December, we delivered our inauguration petition with more than 90,000 signatures to senior members of President-elect Barack Obama’s foreign policy transition team. They accepted it, and were impressed by your passion and commitment on behalf of the world’s poorest people.
The petition asks Obama to make a clear statement, through his upcoming inaugural address and budget priorities, that he intends to fulfill his campaign commitments to fighting poverty and preventable disease worldwide. You can read more about the campaign here:
http://www.one.org/r?r=159&id=786-939700-I1VQFcx&t=2

This petition delivery was our last big action of 2008, a year marked by many victories, the occasional mixed outcome, and even a few defeats. The one constant was your tireless devotion to building the political will to end global poverty and preventable diseases. The results speak for themselves, and wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of ONE members, the outstanding work by other organizations in the anti-poverty movement and the leadership of elected officials who believe in our ability to come together to build a safer and more prosperous world for all of us.

So, as we kick off 2009, I’d like to take moment to look back at all the hard work you’ve done to make some great campaigns possible in 2008:

ONE Vote ’08: This election, ONE members met the candidates on the trail, wrote thousands of letters to other voters through our ONE-to-ONE program, and got the candidates to go On The Record on global poverty – making ONE Vote ’08 a grassroots powerhouse. The candidates, media and voters across America took notice, bringing unprecedented attention to our issues and historic commitments to fight global poverty from both Barack Obama and John McCain. ONE Vote ’08 was also the winner of the prestigious Center for Global Development Commitment to Development Award for 2008.

Fighting HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria: The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is a historic commitment to fighting global AIDS, TB and malaria. After five successful years, it came up in Congress for reauthorization and expansion in 2008. Passing this next phase of PEPFAR was literally the difference between life and death for millions of people and ONE members worked for months to help make this landmark reauthorization happen. More than 100,000 ONE members wrote letters, made phone calls, and signed petitions to get PEPFAR through the House and past the block placed on it by a handful of opponents in the Senate. In the end, your efforts helped PEPFAR to pass the Senate with 80 votes. More importantly, your efforts laid the ground work for the US to provide care for 12 million people living with AIDS—including getting 3 million people on anti-retroviral therapy. The bill also contains strong increases in investments in fighting TB and malaria, two diseases that are at their most devastating in the world’s poorest countries. And, in places desperate for doctors and nurses, PEPFAR will provide training for 140,000 new health care professionals.

Global Hunger Crisis: Rising food prices and long overdue investments in agriculture in the developing world led to a global hunger crisis this year that shocked the world. The response from ONE members was overwhelming, with more than 150,000 signatures on our petition to President Bush asking for emergency relief and for the crisis to be added to the 2008 G8 summit agenda. While there is still much to do, our voices were heard and several nations committed to provide critical supplementary funds to deal with immediate shortages and commitments – and we’ll be watching to make sure they make good on their promises.

EU Billion: In October and November, ONE members in Europe launched a full-force effort to support a proposal in the European Commission to give €1 billion of unspent money from the European budget to struggling farmers in the developing world. Their petition was delivered with more than 13,000 signatures to President Sarkozy’s advisors in Brussels and Alain Joyandet, the French minister for development. ONE members across Europe then directly e-mailed their finance ministers, sending over 5,000 emails in a few short weeks. In the end, the Commission, Parliament, and Council agreed for give a full €1 billion for agriculture.

Biden-Lugar Amendment to the 2009 Budget: The 2009 federal budget process that began early last year was a wild ride. At one point, the Senate proposed $4.1 billion dollars less than the President requested to the international affairs budget, which funds almost all anti-poverty programs. But ONE members didn’t back down, making thousands of phone calls and flooding Congress with petitions, culminating in the passage of the Biden-Lugar Amendment by an overwhelming 73 to 23 bipartisan vote to restore the full $4.1 billion in funding.

Visit Africa: Back in February, more than 100,000 ONE members signed our petition asking the presidential candidates to pledge to visit Africa in their first term and the candidates heard you loud and clear. All four major party candidates in the race at that point – Senator Clinton, Governor Huckabee, Senator McCain, and Senator Obama – promised that, if elected, they would visit Africa in their first term – a huge victory in our ongoing efforts to focus the next president’s attention on global poverty.
Just ONE Question: Sometimes, even the most impressive actions you take don’t get the desired response. More than 125,000 ONE members signed our petition to Jim Lehrer and then Tom Brokaw, urging them to ask Just ONE Question on global poverty at the presidential debates. Unfortunately, in the wake of the financial market collapse, the economy dominated the debates and our question did not get asked, making your successful efforts to talk to the candidates directly on the campaign trail all the more important.
Bundestag Thank You: The German federal budget for 2009 featured an historic €800 million increase in development funds. To thank the German Parliament (Bundestag) for its efforts and remind their leaders to follow through on these promises, German ONE members—including celebrities such as actress Katja Riemann, film director Wolfgang Petersen, and entrepreneur Dirk Rossmann – signed a thank you card that was hand-delivered to the heads of the governing parties in the Bundestag, Volker Kauder (CDU/CSU) and Peter Struck (SPD). A postcard version was sent to all members of the CDU/CSU and SPD parties.

I could not be more proud of all you have accomplished this year in the fight against global poverty, and I can’t wait to get back to work with you in this New Year. As always, you can read more and leave your thoughts, reactions, or even New Year’s resolutions on the ONE blog:
http://www.one.org/blog/2009/01/06/a-look-back?id=786-939700-I1VQFcx&t=3

Thank you for making a difference,
David Lane, ONE.org

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~ by h.e.g. on January 7, 2009.

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