Sunday, June 05, 2005

Gordon Brown, progress and Gulf States

Today's Observer has two very good articles. The first is by future Prime-Minister, Gordon Brown wrote "Spend now, save lives" about why aid is crucial to Africa's future.

The second is how progress is going on making some sort of resolution at the G8 summit next month. Some progress is being made. The brightest point of thearticle is this
Separately, the Treasury has brokered a groundbreaking agreement with the US to cancel its International Monetary Fund debt for Africa - meaning the US would have offered more on debt relief than Germany or Italy.

Crucially, however, it has also offered extra money ensuring the debt relief will not be paid for by cuts in other aid programmes, at least for two years. The final amount remains under discussion, but the deal follows months of lobbying, led by Brown, of his US counterpart, John Snow.

Although more need to be done.
Britain aims to raise $100bn through Brown's International Finance Facility, $80bn from EU countries' contributions and the rest from the US. Bush's rejection of the IFF idea has left the $20bn gap, part of which could be filled by American funding through other channels than the IFF, part possibly by contributions from the Canadians and Japanese, but part could come from oil producing states under Brown's proposals.

You know what to do