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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 June, 2003, 18:32 GMT 19:32 UK
Geldof urges G8 aid for Africa
Geldof in Ethiopia
Bob Geldof visits a feeding centre in Sekota in northern Ethiopia
Bob Geldof has urged the world's leading nations to do more to help development in Africa.

The musician and campaigner said the G8 countries - currently meeting in France - should bury their disagreements over Iraq and concentrate on the "real crisis" in Africa.

Geldof was able to put these views to Tony Blair as the prime minister joined G8 leaders for a summit in the French spa town Evian.

Mr Blair telephoned the Live Aid organiser in Ethiopia, where he has been touring areas hit by a famine in 1984 with charity Save the Children.

Speaking on BBC's Talking Point programme, Geldof said Africa needed help similar to that given to Europe by the US in 1945.

"It won't require 1% of GDP (gross domestic product). It will require 0.16% of the seven richest countries in the world and we won't even notice that in our national budgets," he added.

'Real crisis'

Geldof said the G8 countries should not waste this opportunity to help Africa.

"It cannot be a G8 determined by political pique, or spite, or recriminations over what happened in Iraq," he said.

"The real crisis and area of need in the world today is in Africa."

A Downing Street spokesman said Geldof had put his opinions - particularly about Ethiopia - to the prime minister in a 10-minute telephone conversation.

"The Prime Minister was grateful for this update and said he would reflect their discussion in his talks during the summit," the spokesman said.

During his visit to Ethiopia, Geldof said the current food shortages are worse than he expected.
It cannot be a G8 determined by political pique, or spite, or recriminations over what happened in Iraq
Bob Geldof

The campaigner said millions were at risk from starvation in a situation which amounted to "criminal negligence".

He said the latest figures showed that, at the moment, there is a 20% shortfall in aid and 235,000 tonnes of supplies are needed.

African leaders are attending the Evian summit and will be asking western leaders what moves they have made to meet previous commitments to cancelling third-world debt.

Anti-globalisation demonstrators have also descended on the meeting, clashing with police in towns and cities near Evian.

The protestors say the summit will do little to address the needs of the world's poor.

The G8 countries are the United States, Japan, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Canada and Russia.


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