CAFOD urges Blair to be bolder for the world's poor

 CAFOD has called on Prime Minister Tony Blair to push forward on debt relief and fair trade issues, following a speech he made at the Labour Party Conference in Blackpool. Blair told the conference: "A month ago I visited the Beira District Hospital in Mozambique. There are as many doctors in the whole of Mozambique as there are in Oldham. I saw four children to a bed, sick with malaria. Nurses dying of AIDS faster than others can be recruited. Tens of thousands of children dying in that country needlessly every year. "I asked a doctor - 'what hope is there?' - ' Britain is our hope', he said. 'Thanks to you we have debt relief. Thanks to you we have new programmes to fight AIDS and malaria. Thanks to you the docks at Maputo are being rebuilt and we can sell goods abroad.' "When you tire of knocking on the door, putting the leaflet in the envelope, wonder what its all about an what its all for, reflect on that doctor and feel proud or what you do, and understand that's what we elect a Labour government for." In a statement, CAFOD said it applauded the government's boldness in recent increases in overseas aid. But it called on the Prime Minister to use his international influence to push for 100% debt relief for the world's poorest countries and the abolition of the Common Agricultural Policy. George Gelber, CAFOD's Head of Public Policy, said: "If Labour wants to be bold in the area of development the government should use its influence in global institutions to secure 100% debt relief for the world's poorest countries and stop the dumping of food produced under the Common Agricultural Policy which is destroying the livelihoods of millions of families in the developing world. "By moving so decisively to increase overseas aid, the government has shown it is committed to poverty reduction to the world's poorest countries. Now they need to go a step further."

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