Leader of House of Lords visits Ethiopia with CAFOD

 Baroness Amos, Leader of the House of Lords, is visiting Ethiopia with CAFOD this week, as part of the Make Poverty History campaign. Lady Amos, who is also the government's international development spokesperson in the Lords, will see projects in the Tigray region, which was badly affected by the 1984/85 famine that led to Live Aid. Today she will visit the Watershed agricultural programme in May Zeg Zeg that has helped around 100,000 people to become self-sufficient through better farming methods and improved irrigation. Tomorrow the Baroness will visit an HIV/AIDS project run by the Daughters of Charity. The visit comes a few weeks before the release of the Commission for Africa report is expected and in the run-up to the G8 summit in July where Africa will top the agenda. CAFOD country representative Beverley Jones said: "During our visit to Tigray, CAFOD aims to show Baroness Amos not only how good development aid can change lives but also how unfair trade rules and the burden of debt keep millions of Ethiopians below the poverty line. "We will remind the Baroness of the promise made in 2001 by the British Government with fellow members of the G8 to halve world poverty by 2015 with the launch of the Millennium Development Goals. The world is failing dismally to keep its promise and Ethiopia, along with most of Africa is expected to reach the goals 150 years late. "As Nelson Mandela told Make Poverty History campaigners in London last week, 'overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice'. This year the British Government has a unique opportunity to help consign global poverty to the annals of history through its presidency of the G8 and European Union." The Make Poverty History campaign is the UK arm of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty. It is calling for fairer trade rules for developing countries, debt relief and more and better aid. During her visit Lady Amos will also be meeting with African Union and Ethiopian government officials.

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