Donald Luskin — at his blog, “The Conspiracy to Keep You Poor and Stupid” — blathers about “Global Welfare Queens,” the result of “[l]eftist welfare impulses on a grand global scale.”

Luskin targets “the forgiveness of underdeveloped countries’ debt (when they’ve stopped paying the interest years ago anyway), and the extension of further “debt” (under the circumstances, merely a gift).”

Meanwhile, The Guardian reports the U.N. will announce tomorrow that “[t]hree million children will die in the poorest countries of sub-Saharan Africa as a result of the failure of the global community to meet its promise of slashing the death rates of the under-fives by 2015.” The timing of the release will increase the pressure on Tony Blair and George Bush:

“These numbers should serve as a wake-up call for G8 leaders,” said Kevin Watkins, director of the UN’s human development report office. “Africa cannot afford to see the world’s richest countries sleepwalk their way to a heavily signposted human development disaster.” More below:

The BBC notes that “[a]id agencies are urging Tony Blair not to ‘cave in to US pressure’ and weaken his relief plan for Africa.”

From The Guardian‘s report:

In 2000 the UN said that by 2015 it would cut infant mortality by two-thirds, halve the number of people living on less than a dollar a day, and put every child in school.

On current UNDP projections, there will be 5 million under-five deaths in Africa, compared with 2 million if the goals were achieved; 115 million children deprived of an education; and 219 million extra people living below the poverty line.


The outline deal on debt requires further consultation with the Germans and some other EU finance ministers and it was accepted by British officials that most of the progress had been made on the cancellation of multilateral debt to the World Bank, rather than the International Monetary Fund.


[T]he Washington trip will be remembered for the progress Mr Blair made on debt cancellation and the assertion by President Bush that lifting Africa from poverty “is a central goal of my administration”.

On debt cancellation the Americans promised not merely 100% cancellation, but also additional funding to ensure that the World Bank does not lose out over cancelled interest payments.

America had been insisting the World Bank was recompensed through cuts in aid programmes to Africa. Now it will provide additional cash.

President Bush told a White House press conference: “We agree that highly indebted developing countries that are on the path to reform should not be burdened by mountains of debt. Our countries are developing a proposal for the G8 that will eliminate 100% of that debt and that by providing additional resources will preserve the financial integrity of the World Bank and the Africa Development Bank.”

He omitted any mention of the debt owed to the IMF since America is opposing the British proposal of funding the cancellation by the revaluation of IMF gold reserves.

Mr Bush insisted he would not lift aid to a fixed formula but said he had already tripled aid. …

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