The Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) is a growing worldwide alliance consisting of national coalitions (or platforms) of campaigns to end poverty.
It has become the most significant global anti-poverty platform to date, claiming to have involved some 38 million people in actions in 2005 in over 75 countries and 23 million people in 2006 (so far) in over 85 countries, but it has yet to prove itself as a sustainable and broad-based global movement.
It rapidly grew to earn its status as the largest anti-poverty campaign in the world by building on existing networks, and their strategies and activities. Currently it boasts of more than one thousand member organisations and millions of supporters worldwide.
The campaign demands that gender equality be recognized as a central issue for poverty eradication. The campaign further demands that upholding the rights of children, youth, women and other excluded groups, as well as ensuring their equal participation, be recognised as fundamental to the achievement of these goals.'
There is an International Facilitation Group (IFG) that helps coordinate the campaign at an international level. Under the IFT are a number of 'Task Forces' that see too different specialised aspects of the global campaign. These include:
Priority is given to the national coalitions and most major decisions and actions are taken on a national level by national coalitions.
A national coalition is made up of any and all organisations, of that particular country, that are committed to making poverty a thing of the past and support GCAP's platform. The campaign is not restrictive and is currently an alliance of existing coalitions, community groups, trade unions, individuals, actors, religious and faith groups, campaigners, non-governmental organizations and more.
During the course of 2005 GCAP grew rapidly and by the end of the year the campaign boasted more the 70 national coalitions. This number has since grown to exceed 115.
The global coalition is based on the Beirut Platform (a revised version of the Johannesburg Declaration of 2005) from GCAP's review session in March 2006 in Beirut, Lebanon. The campaign operates in 4 primary languages; English, Español, Français & العربية
The campaigns website and all materials are produced in all 4 languages simultaneously.
The campaign will convene in Nairobi in January to further review the campaigns performance through 2006 and discuss the campaigns future through and beyond 2007.
A month of mobilization was launched on September 16 2005 (to coincide with the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank) which will build up to a climax on White Band Day 4 on the October 17 (International Day for the Eradication of Poverty). During the month, countries around the world undertook an array of actions, culminating in the global white band day. The white band remains the campaign's symbol and expression of solidarity against poverty.
During 2007 national campaigns and coalitions mobilized on key national dates as well as the international white band day.
From 1 September – 20 October 2008, concerned citizens in over 100 countries will join together again for 50 Global Days of Action Against Poverty, united by the symbol of the white band. They will be calling for governments to eradicate poverty, dramatically lessen inequality, and achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
The main body of the UK programme for the 50 Global Days of Action currently features 23 events, with over 50 NGOs and civil society organisations involved to date. It includes opportunities to influence major international meetings, lobbying at party conferences, an activist training forum, a stunt, public meetings and a major demonstration against child poverty in the UK.
GCAP together with the UN-Millennium Campaign jointly set a Guinness World Record for the most number of people to ever to simultaneously 'Stand Up' against poverty within a 24 hour period. The initiative was held as a part of GCAP's Month of Mobilization and the release of the record numbers was set to coincide with the last day of the Month, The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
The 24 hour period started at 10:00am GMT on the 15th of October and ended at 10:00am GMT on 16th October. The record was confirmed and released by Guinness officials on the 17th of October. The official record, that Guinness calls the largest single coordinated movement of people in the history of the Guinness World Record, is set at 23,542,614'
Stand Up events were registered in 85 countries across the world.
From 17 - 19 October 2008, citizens worldwide will attempt to break this record again. It is possible to register events at www.standagainstpoverty.org.
In the UK, around 200 events are expected as part of Stand Up and Take Action Against Poverty and Inequality. These will be supported by organisations and networks including ActionAid, WaterAid, Jubilee Debt Campaign, Stop Aids Campaign, DEA, Muslim Aid, Quaker Peace and Social Witness, CND, Skillshare, TIDAL, AMREF, Micah Challenge, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, the Diocese of London, Pants to Poverty and the International Young Professionals Association.