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Monica Ali launches Oxfam South Bank photo exhibition

London SE1 website team

Novelist Monica Ali, author of Brick Lane, launched Oxfam's 'The World Can't Wait' photo exhibition in Theatre Square outside the National Theatre on Friday.

Monica Ali
Monica Ali speaking at the launch event in Theatre Square
The World Can't Wait

In the run-up to the G8 meeting in Germany Oxfam has joined forces with award-winning photographers from around the world to create a powerful open-air exhibition in Theatre Square on the South Bank.

Oxfam says that the exhibition is designed to remind millions of people why they took part in the Make Poverty History campaign and why the fight against global poverty must continue.

Giant cubes showing more than 50 images together with video footage illustrate the reality of life on the edge of existence – without access to clean water, health care or a basic education.

"Education, good health and clean water are basic human needs," says Monica Ali who travelled to Uganda with Oxfam in 2006.

"But for most people living in poverty they are a luxury. This exhibition shows what life is really like for those people, and is a stark reminder of the urgency for the world's richest governments to deliver the aid and debt relief they have promised."

In 2005 the G8 met in Scotland and made historic promises to help millions of people to escape poverty. They pledged to give $50 billion extra in aid every year by 2010, cancel crippling debts, and devise a fair global trade deal.

Oxfam's Alison Woodhead explains: "At the Gleneagles summit, a quarter of a million people took to the streets to demand justice for the world's poorest. Since then, some real progress has been made but we still have a long way to go before we make poverty history. The world can't wait any longer for action from the G8."

The World Can't Wait continues in Theatre Square until Tuesday 19 June.

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