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DEVELOPMENT REPORT - UN Honors Six Anti-Poverty Activists

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This is the VOA Special English Development Report.

The United Nations Development Program recently observed the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The goal was to improve living conditions for the more than one-thousand-million poor people around the world who live on less than one dollar a day.

More than fifty nations held special events. For example, sports events were held in Togo. In Vietnam, there was a group discussion about poverty and violence in the home.

The U-N Development Program also honored six individuals who have worked throughout their lives to fight poverty in their communities. One of those honored was Edi Rama, the mayor of Tirana, Albania. He helped launch an environmental program to clean up the Lana River. The program is called Clean and Green. It has also helped reduce the number of unemployed people in the Albanian capital.

Maqsood Sinha (Maq-SHOOD SIN-ha) and Iftekhar Enayetullah (IF-Te-Car Eh-NIGH-a-to-la) were also honored. These two men have formed a non-governmental organization in Bangladesh called Waste Concern. It helps communities turn organic waste into fertilizer using a simple technology.

Grace Dotou (Gras DOO-too) was honored for her work in Benin. She has trained unemployed girls and women to collect used plastic bags and make useful products from them. The fifth person honored by the U-N Development Program is from Chile. Pablo Sandor started an organization that helps communities develop businesses while still protecting the land. He also has established an environmental high school and a research center. The sixth person honored was Aref Kodeih (AR-ef Ko-DAY). He has launched several environmental programs in Lebanon that have helped more than four-hundred-thousand people.

The U-N Development Program also gave a special award to the head of MAC cosmetics company. John Demsey was honored for his work in the fight against the disease AIDS. He has given all the profits from one of his company's products to a special AIDS program.

The U-N Development Program hopes to end poverty around the world by two-thousand-fifteen. However, U-N Secretary General Kofi Annan says this could be especially difficult in parts of the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. The number of people living in poverty in those areas has increased over the past three years.

This VOA Special English Development Report was written by Jill Moss.

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