Chancellor Goes Global with Africa Rescue Plan; GORDON BROWN TELLS G7 SUMMIT TO BACK $50 BILLION AID PACKAGE

The Evening Standard (London, England), February 4, 2005 | Go to article overview

Chancellor Goes Global with Africa Rescue Plan; GORDON BROWN TELLS G7 SUMMIT TO BACK $50 BILLION AID PACKAGE


Byline: JASON BEATTIE;JUSTIN DAVENPORT

GORDON BROWN stepped up efforts to secure international backing for his African aid package as business leaders and G7 finance ministers met in London today.

Tight security surrounded the two-day gathering, which is being attended by world economists, bank governors and government ministers.

The Chancellor used the meeting - one of the biggest events in the financial calendar - to urge America and Japan to support his ambitious International Finance Facility (IFF).

Mr Brown has already secured the backing of the leading European nations for the scheme, which would provide $50billion a year to help the African continent.

But the US, Japan and Canada have yet to sign up amid doubts about the level of borrowing it would require.

Tony Blair also put pressure on the Americans to endorse the IFF when he met the new US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, in Downing Street today.

The Prime Minister has made Africa one of the key themes of Britain's presidencyof the G8 group of nations. Both he and Mr Brown argue that the money which could be raised through the IFF is needed urgently.

Extra police were drafted into central London to patrol roads around Westminster and dozens more have been put on standby in case of trouble.

Scotland Yard remains on the second highest alert level for a terrorist attack, although a spokeswoman said there was no intelligence of any threat to the summit. …

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