This weekend, as we join all Americans in proudly celebrating our independence, we also should be thinking of the 1 billion people in the world who live on $1 a day or less, most of whom lack clean water, electricity, food, education and medical care. It is our hope that in this spirit, President Bush fully contemplates an opportunity he has to help free millions from the chains of poverty when he meets with world leaders in Scotland.
Known as the G8 Summit, eight of the world's wealthiest nations will be meeting July 6 to discuss, among other global issues, the Millennium Goals agreed to by all 189 member states of the United Nations to reduce global poverty.
In this remote region, more than 1.5 million African tribal farmers have been violently driven from their homes by the government of Sudan and the militias they armed, called Janjaweed (evil men on horseback). Despite repeated calls from humanitarian organizations and U.N. agencies warning of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today, there continues to be a systematic program of expulsion, rape and murderous violence that has taken at least 100,000 lives.
As early as March of this year, humanitarian organizations were issuing warnings of ethnic cleansing in Darfur, Sudan.