Blair's letter to poverty groups

Former prime minister Tony Blair has urged campaigning groups to keep up the pressure on global leaders to meet their promises on global poverty in a letter to the Make Poverty History coalition.

“They are relying on you to continue to press governments to deliver on global poverty and climate change,” he said in the letter.

In 2005 the coalition of hundreds of charities asked for the debts of the poorest countries to be cancelled fully and transparently, to increase spending on aid and to develop trade agreements, which included the seeking of an end to subsidies that harm livelihoods, however the movement has been widely criticised for failing to deliver on its promises.

While Blair’s letter acknowledged that progress has fallen short of what was promised, it emphasised that the campaign did made a difference.

“I know better than anyone that the Gleneagles deal to tackle global poverty would not have happened without the impassioned campaign in the UK and across the world,” it read.

“There has been real progress since Gleneagles – billions of dollars of debt cancellation has freed-up resources for investing in schools and health care, new aid has helped get millions into school and over one million onto retrovirals in Africa. And work with the AU has led to the training of nearly 15,000 African peacekeepers.”

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