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The Tally Ho

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

World Poverty Must be Cut

The Guardian's Charlotte Moore, in her article World poverty must be cut, Blair told, writes
A coalition of British charities, campaign groups, trade unions and celebrities will today demand that Tony Blair makes dramatic changes in government policy to significantly reduce world poverty.

The group will deliver a report called Make Poverty History to the prime minister which calls for changes to trade agreements, the cancellation of developing countries' debts and big increases in aid.

It marks the start of a huge anti-poverty campaign planned for 2005 designed to mobilise popular support for the cause.

The public will be encouraged to wear white armbands to show their support and a demonstration is planned for Edinburgh in July to force the subject high on to the agenda at the G8 meeting of world leaders.

Today's report points out that the government has an exceptional opportunity in 2005 to make a real impact in the battle against poverty because the UK is hosting the G8 gathering and will also be president of the European Union. Steve Tibbett of ActionAid said: "We've had the rhetoric from the government and now we want real action while the UK is in the driving seat this year."

Adrian Lovett from Oxfam said: "We are issuing this challenge to Tony Blair as we believe that he must do more to end global poverty. It is time for the UK government to change key policies and put pressure on other world leaders to do the same."

Before Secretary O'Neill was dismissed by the Bush Administration, I seem to remember him being of the opinion that many loans made to poor countries should be transfered into grants. Many scholars and activists have been critical of the current loan system. I saw Joseph Stiglitz in a panel discussion a few years ago and one of his comments in effect was that "loans go from Washington to Washington." He has been a critic of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

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