Schiffer calls on G8 not to ignore world poverty

9th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

9 June 2005, LONDON - German super model Claudia Schiffer on Thursday lent her voice to a celebrity-driven anti-poverty campaign ahead of the planned summit meeting of leaders of the world's major industrial nations (G8) in Scotland next month.

9 June 2005

LONDON - German super model Claudia Schiffer on Thursday lent her voice to a celebrity-driven anti-poverty campaign ahead of the planned summit meeting of leaders of the world's major industrial nations (G8) in Scotland next month.

Schiffer, who lives in Britain, posed for photographs with British chancellor Gordon Brown and other prominent campaigners at a press conference in London where she called on G8 finance ministers "not to turn a blind eye" to the urgent question of debt relief for Africa.

Finance ministers of the US, Britain, Canada, Japan, Germany, Italy, France and Russia are due to meet in London on Saturday to prepare the 6-8 July summit at Gleneagles, Scotland.

"I have two children, but if I was living in parts of Africa I'd have a one in five chance of dying during child birth. And my baby would have a one in five chance of dying before their fifth birthday", the 34-year-old model stated.

"World leaders cannot turn a blind eye to this. If the campaign works then something will at last be done about these terrible statistics. As a mother I want to do everything I can to help this campaign."

At a separate venue, Irish rockstar Bob Geldof, who is organising a major 'Live 8' pop concert ahead of the summit, said in London it would be "grotesque" if industrialised societies failed to eliminate hunger and poverty in Africa.

Referring to Western concerns that financial aid given to African countries could end up in the pockets of corrupt leaders, Geldof said the argument should not be used as an excuse.

"Get off the corruption thing. They (Africans) die of corruption because they are too poor to withstand the impact of a thief stealing their money."

The British government is leading a campaign for total debt relief for Africa, a topic high on the agenda at a meeting earlier this week in Washington between Prime Minister Tony Blair and US president George W. Bush.

In Scotland, a leading churchman on Thursday called for "two million people" to join a protest march to the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, next month.

"If a million refugees can make their way across a desert in Sudan, then surely Edinburgh can cope with this number", said Bishop Martin Shaw of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

His remark was in response to police and media criticism of an earlier call by Geldof that a million people should march on Edinburgh during the summit.

DPA

Subject: German news

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