Endorsement of the Declaration of the International Committee for October 17

International Press Release
International Movement ATD Fourth World

Endorsement of the Declaration of the International Committee for October 17 in response to the Covid-19 global pandemic to ensure no one is left behind.

September 28, 2020, Pierrelaye, France—The Board of Directors and the International Leadership Team of the International Movement ATD Fourth World today formally endorsed the Declaration of the International Committee for October 17 and their response to the Covid-19 global pandemic to ensure no one is left behind.

The declaration adopted at the biennial meeting of the International Committee for October 17 in July 2020, contains the following three vital calls to action that can ensure that people in poverty, especially those in extreme poverty, are not left behind and can participate effectively in policies and programmes to address their social and economic well-being as well as their health.

  1. Call upon Governments, the United Nations and its agencies to ensure that policies and action to tackle the global health emergency and its devastating social and economic impact take into account the particular vulnerabilities and special needs of people living in extreme poverty. They should be provided with adequate access to healthcare, clean living conditions and social services for a sustainable and inclusive recovery, including access to education for all children. The effective participation of people living in poverty is essential in determining, implementing and evaluating these policies at the regional, national, and global levels to ensure no one is left behind.
  2. Call upon Governments, the United Nations and its agencies to support and implement the principles and objectives of The People’s Vaccine initiative for COVID-19 to ensure that everyone, everywhere can receive a vaccine free of charge, and give priority to people living in poverty, especially those in extreme poverty. Many lack adequate access to clean drinking water and health programs and support, and are therefore very vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19 and its most serious health issues.
  3. Urge all Governments to implement economic and social stimulus policies that prioritize people who have lost their livelihoods because of measures to control COVID-19, especially those living in extreme poverty, rather than large corporations and big business, and to avoid imposing austerity measures that have been shown to have disproportionately ruinous impacts upon those in poverty but instead choose a path of inclusive growth, involving the active participation of all people, that delivers better outcomes for people, communities, and the environment through social solidarity.

Donald Lee, President of the International Movement ATD Fourth World, said,

“The highest priority should be assistance to people in poverty, especially those in extreme poverty, as they are the most vulnerable and most likely to be left behind in responses to the global pandemic.  In particular, when a safe and effective vaccine is available, it must be provided free of charge, with priority given to people living in extreme poverty. To do otherwise would be a travesty of their human rights to live in a healthy, clean and safe environment.”

The Director General of the International Movement ATD Fourth World, Isabelle Pypaert Perrin, emphasised that,

“Despite their relentless efforts, those in extreme poverty live in a permanent state of crisis imposed by their impoverishment. This is why they must be the first we look to for solutions, so we can emerge from crises such as the one we are going through.  Those in extreme poverty are not asking for ready-made solutions for themselves but to be able to work with all of us to create the world of tomorrow we want.”

A copy of the Declaration in English, French, and Spanish can be downloaded at Declaration of the Committee on the Covid-19 pandemic

For more information, please contact:
Jean-Charles Watiez, ()

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