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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 June 2006, 14:31 GMT 15:31 UK
Geldof pushes G8 on aid to Africa
Bob Geldof
Irish pop star Bob Geldof organised last year's Live 8 concerts

The world's richest countries need to do more in the global fight against poverty in Africa, Bob Geldof has said.

Progress has been made on debt and aid, but trade imbalances between Africa and the rest of the world remain "ugly".

Mr Geldof was speaking at the launch of a report charting the promises made by the rich G8 nations at their summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, last year.

His comments come after Tony Blair warned it would take "hard work for years to come" to tackle poverty.

'Off track'

More people are being fed, more children are in school - but it's not enough
Bob Geldof

Describing the report by campaign group Data as a frank and "truthful" assessment, Mr Geldof praised G8 leaders for the progress made on cutting the billions of dollars of debt owed to them by many African countries.

The Irish pop star said progress on meeting promises to boost aid to Africa were at best "ok", but condemned the lack of progress made on reaching a deal to improve trade balances between Africa and the West.

He said many of world's richest countries were behind on their promises to boost aid to Africa.

"They're all pretty slack, because they're all off track," Mr Geldof said, although he singled out Italy and Germany for particular attention.

I very much appreciate the efforts exerted by Sir Bob Geldof
Bekele D.W., Swansea

The G8 nations - Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the US - pledged to lift aid to Africa by $25bn to $50bn by 2010, following the Gleneagles summit.

France is the only country currently on track to meet G8 development targets in Africa by 2010, according to the Data report, while Britain needs to increase spending by $778m this year alone in order meet its Gleneagles commitments.

Progress panel

Mr Geldof said the global Live 8 concerts last summer had been successful in boosting aid to Africa.

"Did Live 8 work? Yes it did. More people are being fed, more children are in school. But it's not enough," he said.

On Monday, Mr Blair announced he had enlisted Mr Geldof, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to a new body to monitor the progress of pledges made at the G8 summit.

The Africa Progress Panel, which will be chaired by Mr Annan, will produce an annual report to be submitted to the G8, UN and the Africa Partnership Forum.

The aim is to "maintain the international political profile of Africa achieved in 2005".

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