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Oxfam: Pledges to Africa Have Not Materialized


A leading international aid organization says some progress has been made in the past year toward poverty reduction in Africa, but the international response falls far short of the challenge issued by Britain's prime minister one year ago.

Oxfam says it is concerned because many promises of aid and trade reform have not materialized.

In March 2005, a panel headed by Tony Blair called on rich nations to spend an extra $25 billion each year to help reduce poverty in Africa. The commission also called on wealthy nations to banish trade barriers and agricultural subsidies.

Oxfam says there has been some advancement on aid and debt relief, but trade imbalances and arms dealing issues have not been adequately addressed.

A spokesman for Mr. Blair responded to the criticism saying much progress had been made, but there is still much work to be done.

Oxfam also expressed fear that Britain is backing away from a leadership role in poverty reduction and economic reform.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.