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New Philippine government must commit to reducing poverty

As votes are counted today in the General Election in the Philippines, Christian Aid urges the incoming government to make a sincere, urgent and lasting commitment to reduce poverty.

In many parts of the country poverty levels are worse than in Sub-Saharan Africa. In some urban areas 65 per cent of the population survive on less than a dollar a day.

'A change in government provides the opportunity to introduce new policies to ensure rights to decent housing, job opportunities, services and benefits. This strengthens and enables communities to get out of the poverty cycle.' said Daphne Villanueva, Christian Aids county Manager for the Philippines.

'All presidential candidates must fulfil promises made to reduce poverty and  prioritise addressing issues which affect the urban poor ’

In the run up to the election, front runner Senator Benigno 'NoyNoy' Aquino III said the elimination of poverty and corruption would be his main priorities if he were  elected. 

In March Aquino and Max Roxas, the leading candidates, signed an anti-poverty covenant with a number of Christian Aid partners - Urban Poor Associates, Community Organisers Multiversity, the Community Organisation of the Philippines  Enterprise Foundation and Urban Poor Alliance.

The covenant aims to end forced evictions, create jobs for the poor, increase education and health budgets and provide water and power to poor areas.

Urban Poor Associates project coordinator Alice Murphy said at the time: 'The signing of the covenant is the first in the history of the Philippine Republic.  It signifies the candidates' support of the urban poor and can lead to genuine change in how the government treats the urban poor if the two assume positions after the elections.'

Christian Aid works with partner organisations in developing countries to find lasting ways to end poverty.  In the Philippines the organisation works with relevant advocacy networks in the capital and NGOs in Metro Manila and other cities where urban poverty is acute.

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For more information or interview requests, please contact Johanna Rogers on +44 207 523 2460 or jrogers@christian-aid.org

Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the life they deserve.

2. Christian Aid has a vision – an end to poverty – and we believe that vision can become a reality. We urge you to join us. Our drive, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to end global poverty.  Details at www.christianaid.org.uk

3. Christian Aid is part of the ACT Alliance ecumenical relief and development network

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid

5. The Christian Aid name and logo are trademarks of Christian Aid. Poverty Over is a trademark of Christian Aid.