Africa

Africa 'needs billions more aid' says Blair commission

A malnourished child in Kenya
Image caption The commission says that despite advances many still live in poverty

The commission set up by ex-UK Prime Minister Tony Blair to find solutions to poverty in Africa says the continent needs billions more dollars in aid.

The Commission for Africa says the world's poorest continent has made "extraordinary progress" since 2005.

But poverty reduction has also become more challenging in many parts of Africa, it says.

The commission's report has been published ahead of a global poverty summit in New York later this month.

Africa, this report argues, has changed a great deal in five years.

There has been what the commission calls "dramatic" economic growth and a surge in trade and investment, not least because of the demand for Africa's natural resources from countries such as China and India.

Malaria

But the commission also says the vast majority of people in the continent have yet to benefit from this economic success.

And climate change and rising food prices will make poverty reduction more challenging in many parts of Africa.

Against the success stories, such as more children than ever before going to primary school and more sleeping under bed nets to protect them from malaria, the report points out that the number of undernourished children has barely changed in 20 years.

The commission says calls for more aid may seem at odds with the focus on public spending cuts in donor countries - but it says the message of its landmark 2005 report that a strong and prosperous Africa is in everyone's interest is just as relevant today.

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