UK pledges to boost development aid, fight corruption
Thu 13 Jul 2006 9:39 AM ET
By Jeremy Lovell
LONDON, July 13 (Reuters) - Britain pledged on Thursday to boost development aid, help fight corruption and ensure that
developing nations were fully involved in the battle to beat global warming.
The promise came on the eve of the Group of Eight rich nation's summit in Russia. Aid agencies are urging the G8 to reach a
deal to fight poverty through enhanced education and health care and more open trade.
The meeting comes almost a year after the same leaders pledged to help Africa and fight global warming -- twin battles in
which they have made only marginal headway.
Presenting to parliament a five-year plan to bolster the fight to eliminate world poverty, International Development
Secretary Hilary Benn said he would create an anti-corruption task force, closely monitor how aid money was spent and push
for U.N. reform.
"Long-term progress in the fight against poverty will only be achieved through effective government and by people with the
voice and confidence to hold their governments to account," he said.
"Eliminating world poverty is in all our interests and a task that none of us can tackle on our own," Benn said. "We need an
international development system that is fit for the challenge of this century, not the last."
Benn said malaria was killing 1 million people a year, tuberculosis 2 million and AIDS 3 million, while dirty water was killing
5,000 children a day and a woman was dying in childbirth or pregnancy each day.
Benn pledged a doubling of aid to education to more than 1 billion pounds ($1.84 billion) sterling a year and a four-fold
increase of spending on water and sanitation to 200 million pounds a year by 2010. He also called for the creation of a 100
million pound fund to help people monitor their governments.
He said Britain would press for a trade round that enables developing countries to "earn their way out of poverty", while
meeting our pledge to provide 100 million pounds a year in aid-for-trade by 2010," Benn said.
He said the British government would also help developing countries root out corruption and strengthen their judicial and
financial systems, and work to combat global warming which developing nations bear the brunt of.
Not only would Britain work to make sure there was a successor to the Kyoto Protocol on cutting carbon emissions which
expires in 2012, but it would insist that developing nations had a full voice in future climate change talks.
Because all of these were global issues, they had to be tackled at international level. In this, reform of the United Nations
"So we will use our money and influence to push for urgent reform of the United Nations so that it can lead the international
response when poor countries face emergencies -- whether wars or natural disasters," he added.
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