116 million in 131 countries joined hands to fight poverty

Other News Materials 22 October 2008 23:11 (UTC +04:00)

More than 116 million people demonstrated around the world last weekend in a renewed effort to fight poverty, the United Nations said Wednesday, dpa reported.

The Guiness World Records certified the figures provided by anti-poverty campaigners who organized the events in 131 countries Friday through Sunday.

The demonstration was prompted by growing concern that poverty is being aggravated by continued high food prices.

"The Stand Up and Take Action" campaign was designed to highlight the UN Millennium Development Goals, which call for eradicating poverty and hunger, halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and reducing maternal and child deaths by 2015.

"This is a wonderful statement of global determination and commitment to end the injustice of extreme poverty," said Desmond Tutu, 77, the retired South African Anglican archbishop and hero of the anti-apartheid struggle.

The UN said more than 73 million people took part in the campaign in Asia. Africa was second with 24.5 million people, followed by Arab states with 17.8 million people. There were 950,000 people in Europe, 211,000 in Latin America and 123,000 in North America.