Wednesday, May 25, 2005

[Africa] New fund to help Malawi fight poverty

Douglas Fraser
Scottish Political Editor
The Herald

A National fundraising drive to combat poverty in Malawi is to be launched next week by Jack McConnell. He also aims to use it as part of the public pressure on world leaders for the G8 summit at Gleneagles Hotel in July. The first minister, during his visit to the African country, said he envisaged a central collecting effort, similar to the disaster emergency appeals. It could have a single phone number and bank account to make it easy to donate. In a long-term commitment to the Scotland-Malawi link he wants to build, the plan is to pick about six major projects on which people can focus fundraising efforts.

With Tony Blair planning an international trip to build pressure for action on African poverty when the leaders meet in Perthshire, the first minister said of his Malawi visit: "Everything that is happening here is a message to the G8. If individual Scots are . . . generous about supporting Malawi, then that simply adds to the pressure on the rich governments of the world to be more generous."