Valentines for the chancellor

 More than a thousand Valentine cards have been sent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer by campaigners calling for the cancellation of third world debt. A spokeswoman said: "This weekend Gordon Brown and other finance ministers are going to romantic Sicily to meet the IMF and the World Bank. We want them to take our messages with them." Yesterday, school children delivered their cards to the Treasury for the Chancellor. One was a five foot home-made decorated heart that reads: "Dear Gordon, tell the IMF and World Bank to have a heart and drop the debt". Other messages include: "Stop breaking my heart" - Cancel the debts that kill" - "Send your love to Africa - "Be my Valentine Gordon"- "Win our love by making the IMF and World Bank drop the debt". Each day, countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the world's poorest region, pay $40 million to their rich creditors, money which could instead be spent on primary healthcare and basic education. As a result more than 19,000 children are dying each day. Fleur Anderson, Head of CAFOD Campaigns said: "To win the hearts of the millions of people in Britain and around the world who want to see an end to the debt crisis, Gordon Brown must set the stage for a new deal on debt at his meeting in Italy this weekend. He must tell the IMF and World Bank to have a heart and stop taking the money from the poorest countries."

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