World Autism Awareness Day

(London, UK) The leaders of G20 countries are preparing to arrive in the United Kingdom for the G20 Conference scheduled to be held at the Excel Centre in London Docklands. Barack Obama arrives in London with his wife Michelle on his first trip to the United Kingdom as President of the United States of America.

The 20 members of the G20 group of nations are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia,Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea,Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and the European Union.

The London Summit is headed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the hosts are Chancellor Alistair Darling and Her Majesty’s Treasury, on the agenda are key economic issues: 1. Coordinated macro-economic actions to revive the global economy, stimulate growth and employment – review measures taken and possible further steps 2. Reform and improve financial sector & systems – continue to deliver progress on the Washington Summit action plan 3. Reform international financial institutions (IFIs) – International Monetary Fund (IMF), Financial Stability Forum (FSF) and World Bank.

G20 also coincides with World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) on 2nd April. On that day G20 leaders will be focusing on the global economic crisis when they meet at the Excel Centre in London Docklands.

World Autism Awareness Day was launched by the United Nations General Assembly on 2nd April 2008 in New York on the recommendation of the State of Qatar.

The UK Autism Foundation has appealed to G20 Leaders and the host Prime Minister Gordon Brown not to walk by on the other side and ignore the plight of the poor. They will be discussing the financial crisis on the United Nations World Autism Awareness Day. Those who are facing severe financial pain are parents, carers, children and adults with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.

The UKAF, a British charity, is deeply concerned about families with autism who are below the poverty line. Over 200 MPs in the House of Commons have signed three early day motions tabled by UK parliamentarians – John Battle MP (Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Poverty), Rudi Vis MP and David Drew MP, supporting the call of the UK Autism Foundation for more help for the poor during the credit crunch and the deepening recession. UKAF has been campaigning on Poverty and Autism and are calling for financial help and support during the economic downturn in the United Kingdom and around the world.

Lee Scott MP, Patron of the UK Autism Foundation (who has championed the cause of autism in the House of Commons) is also calling on Her Majesty’s Government to provide ring fenced funding for autism. He is lobbying very hard on autism on World Autism Awareness Day. Scott initiated a landmark debate on autism in 2007 and met with Prime Minister Tony Blair and autism campaigner Ivan Corea who discuss the serious issues.

Ivan Corea of the UK Autism Foundation: ‘We are appealing to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, President Barack Obama and G20 leaders to help the poor, including families with autism who are below the poverty line. Many are struggling to cope with the economic crisis. Homes of families with autism have been re-possessed. Others are in fuel poverty. Fathers and Mothers have lost their jobs during this economic turmoil. G20 leaders must reach out to the marginalised and the vulnerable. Things are getting worse and it is the vulnerable and the poor who are bearing the brunt of the economic crisis. Who will bail out the poor?”

The UK Autism Foundation has appealed for Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Chancellor Alistair Darling to increase the tax credits, the disability living allowance and the carer’s allowance in the April 2009 Budget in order to help parents, carers, children and adults with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome cope with the economic crisis.

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