Charity coalition to relaunch global anti-poverty campaign

Sixteen charities closely involved in Make Poverty History are launching a new international campaign to highlight the lack of progress made on tackling poverty since the G8 summit in 2005.

This year's G8 summit in June will be in Germany, where the new campaign coalition will work with local NGOs as well as campaign organisations from the other G8 countries. Matt Phillips, director of campaigns for Save the Children, said: "Some progress has been made since the 2005 Gleneagles summit, but not enough.

"The world is also horribly off-track in terms of meeting the Millennium Goals, set for 2015. There's an utter lack of urgency from world leaders; we intend to hold them to account for the commitments they have made."

The coalition will be officially launched and its name unveiled this week. It hopes to get all 540 organisations that signed up to Make Poverty History on board.

There will be an online petition targeting Angela Merkel, the German chancellor. As her country is hosting the summit of the most powerful nations, it will be the focus of the campaign.

Phillips claimed that aid to Africa in 2005 was actually down on the previous year and figures for 2006, which are due to be published soon, are also expected to be disappointing.

Tom Allen, campaigns and media officer at Bond, the consortium representing nearly 300 overseas development charities that is helping to coordinate the coalition, said lessons had been learned from Make Poverty History.

"There was a great opportunity for the UK in 2005, and the Government was sympathetic to our aims, but there's only so far we can go if other governments aren't also committed," he said. "That's why this campaign will have a much more international aspect."

Neither Bob Geldof nor the U2 lead singer Bono are involved in the new campaign, but Allen said the coalition would be trying to persuade other celebrities to lend their support.


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