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Financial help and education is key to fighting Aids, Blair tells Radio Five Live

Category: Five Live

Date: 01.12.2004
Printable version

Strong local leadership, financial support and health education programmes are the principal ways to fight HIV and Aids, the Prime Minister told Jane Garvey in an exclusive interview with BBC Radio Five Live to mark World Aids Day today (1 December).


Tony Blair has described what is happening in Africa as a "terrible terrible situation" but preventable.


He has also spoken of his frustration in trying to improve matters when the solution to the problem of Aids is clear - that solution is, he said, financial help, together with health and education programmes, locally led. The right leadership inside the afflicted countries is the crucial thing.


Mr Blair was speaking to Five Live's Jane Garvey, who is spending World Aids Day in the township of Umlazi in South Africa broadcasting from there on 1 and 2 December.


The Prime Minister also claimed that Britain was the world leader when it came to tackling the problems of Africa by helping resolve debt and by trebling aid to the continent.


Mr Blair pledged that tackling Africa's problems would, along with climate change, be the priority during his presidency of the G8.


Mr Blair said he hoped his Commission for Africa initiative would lead to a halt in the decline in life expectancy in Africa; that it would help to provide proper measures for dealing with killer diseases; and that it would help to resolve the conflicts affecting the continent.


Mr Blair said there were African countries which had very bad records of governance but Africa was "not a continent without hope".


He said that countries such as Ethiopia had, over the past 20 years, made "significant progress and that there are real success stories" but now the continent understood that it had to take responsibility for its own future.


Notes to Editors


The full interview will be played on Five Live's Drive on 1 December from 4.00pm.



Category: Five Live

Date: 01.12.2004
Printable version


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