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Brown's plan to end world poverty


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Brown's plan to end world poverty

The coming year offers a "once-in-a-generation" chance to eradicate global poverty, Chancellor Gordon Brown said.

He told BBC Radio 4 that the UK had led the way on debt relief, but admitted a new approach was needed to improve aid.

His goals for the UK's EU and G8 presidencies include doubling aid from donor countries and eliminating debt owed by the poorest nations.

A number of charities have formed the Make Poverty History campaign to urge the government to do more to help.

Increase resources

Speaking on the Today programme, the chancellor said: "We shouldn't have to choose, as we are at the moment, between the temporary emergency relief that we are giving...and the long-term tackling of the underlying causes of poverty."

He said richer nations "need to be able to do both".

In order to make this possible, he called for "a very substantial increase in resources", which would be " akin to the Marshall Plan of the 1940s".

The chancellor said a doubling of international aid was needed.

Mr Brown also hailed the Make Poverty History coalition and the "huge groundswell" of support from faith groups, along with the work of high-profile campaigners such as Bono and Bob Geldof.

Despite outlining his plans for the future, Mr Brown stressed that the UK had already worked towards the eradication of world poverty.

"We have tried to respond by trebling over 10 years the amount of aid," he said.

And, stressing the influence of the UK over other countries, he added: "We led the way with 100% debt relief for the individual countries.

"Now there are 27 countries instead of one receiving debt relief."

The chancellor said Britain's proposal for an international finance facility to borrow money on international capital markets was crucial in the bid to tackle global poverty.

Generation of change

U2 singer Bono used his slot as guest editor on the Today programme to champion the Make Poverty History campaign and demand an end to "extreme poverty".

"Our generation wants to be remembered for something more than the war against terror or even the internet," he said.

"Just as they pulled down the Berlin Wall and drew back the Iron Curtain and ended apartheid, these seemingly impossible hills can be climbed."

The rock star and global activist added: "It might take 20 years or 40 years but I really believe we can be the generation that turns this shift of indifference around."

Bono addressed the Labour party conference in September, where he urged the chancellor and Prime Minister Tony Blair to work towards an end to world poverty and the Aids crisis.

Story from BBC NEWS:


Make the chruches pay for it, I heard recently that Australian churches alone could pay off Third World dept 3 times over. I mean arn't they supposed to do good and do all rather than the lining their own pockets they actually do.

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Do more to stop poverty, PM urged

More than 100 charities, trade unions and campaign groups have joined forces to urge Tony Blair to fight poverty.

The Make Poverty History campaign says it wants Britain to make laws stopping big business from "profiting at the expense of people and the environment".

The prime minister has declared his aim is to put development at the top of the international agenda.

But the campaign says unfair trade policies, debt and lack of aid are costing lives.

'Imposed policies'

The groups supporting the campaign say Britain has done little to stop unfair and undemocratic policies being imposed on poor countries.

"We know what the problems are but until now there has not been the political will to do something about them," said Steve Tibbett from ActionAid on behalf of Make Poverty History.

"We want 2005 to be remembered as the year that changed the world," he added.

The campaign says it wants an end to exports being "dumped" in ways that harm poor rural communities around the world.

And it is also calling for the "unpayable debts" of the poorest countries to be cancelled in full and for at least an extra £50bn dollars to be given in aid each year.

'Make or break'

It argues that without such steps global poverty will not become history.

Earlier this month, Gordon Brown said next year would be "make or break" for development in poorer countries as he set out UK goals for its EU and G8 presidencies.

The chancellor outlined a series of key targets the government will be judged on in 2005, during a speech in London.

They will include doubling aid from donor countries and eliminating debt owed by the poorest nations.

Mr Brown wants other G8 nations to match his target for overseas aid - spending 0.7% of national income.

Oxfam's Paying the Price report published at the start of December said 45 million children will die needlessly before 2015 and aid budgets are half their 1960 levels.

Story from BBC NEWS:


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so what happens if they get rid of 3rd world debt?

and, is aid the answer? or are these countries going to simply become reliant on handouts instead of becoming selfsufficient?

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Will cancelling debt to some of these countries even help the poor or will the goverments switch the payments to arms acquisition. Development has to be the answer instead of giving the money to governments who may not use it wisely give it to aid agencies to improve water supplies, infastructure etc. Or dont cancel the debt at all, force them to use the repayment money to help themselves. A spade and seeds is more usefull in the long run than a limited supply of food, but you cant cut the food until they are self sufficient.

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^Lol! They only seem to be efficent when they want to be and not when people need them to be!

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so what happens if they get rid of 3rd world debt?

and, is aid the answer? or are these countries going to simply become reliant on handouts instead of becoming selfsufficient?

It’s very easy for you to take about reliance and self-sufficiency while you sit there in an industrialised nation. Helping others is the act of honourable men.

Anyway, under Second Generation Rights it is the duty of society to look after its weak. If we choose to follow Third Generation Rights, then it is also the job of international society to look after its weak also.

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