War On Want: Fighting Global Poverty is an organization based out of London that is working to fight “the root causes of poverty, inequality and injustice.” The organization was founded after a letter was written by Victor Gollancz to the newspaper The Guardian in 1951. In his letter, he wrote about the need to end the war in Korea and asked readers to send him a postcard saying ‘yes’ if they agreed with him.
Ever since the ’50s, War On Want has been fighting against the root causes of many different issues in radical ways. Executive director John Hilary says they work to keep, “strong links with social movements in the global South help keep our politics where they should be, in the tradition of radical resistance.”
This, in turn, is how War on Want is seen as more of an alternative organization in comparison to other British nonprofits, which tend to have ties to business and the state. The organization works to fight the root reasons that poverty exists in the first place, rather than the symptoms of poverty. Much of its work is development-related. War on Want is in alliance with trade unions, overseas grassroots movements and a variety of funders, including networks and coalitions.
Some examples of the many projects that War on Want has worked on and accomplished over the years includes wage increases for Zambian agriculture workers, protecting human rights activists around the world and playing a role in the first anti-drone demonstration.
Perhaps the largest actions the organization is currently working toward are issues in Israel, including ending illegal detention and trade of arms. Nearly three-quarters of every pound donated goes towards its campaigns — the last quarter going towards “building the movement.”
– Shannon Elder