The head of World Vision Australia, Tim Costello, says the global market turmoil is threatening progress being made on reducing world poverty.
Mr Costello is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals set in 2000 to halve extreme poverty and hunger.
He says in the last eight years, nearly half a million poor people have been helped and for first time the number of child deaths has fallen.
But Mr Costello says the United States Government's bailout of the banks is now taking those goals off track.
"When we describe a crisis, an emergency like Wall Street, suddenly the money's there," he said.
"When 25,000 children are dying each day from preventable disease and lack of food we don't call that a crisis.
"In my books, in most of the leaders' books here, that's actually a crisis. Why can't we find the money?"
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