Mr Blair’s adventure in America

All credit to Mr Blair for visiting Washington to try to persuade the US administration to make a substantial contribution to the G8 inititiative on reducing poverty. If this Reuters report is to be believed, the US is planning to announce that it will allocate some of its existing aid budget to famine relief in the Horn of Africa.

The U.S. contribution would include $674 million — enough to feed 14 million people — and a significant commitment will also be made by the British, the official said.

This is a derisory piece of window-dressing: no new money, and nothing on the scale needed to tackle the problem. Let’s hope that the UK and other G8 countries are able to put pressure on the US to come up with something more substantive in time for Gleneagles.

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