Brown tries to persuade 'sceptical' White House to back plan on world poverty

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Indy Politics

Gordon Brown will travel to Washington next week in an attempt to persuade the Bush administration not to scupper his ambitious new "Marshall plan" to tackle poverty, debt and disease in the developing world.

Gordon Brown will travel to Washington next week in an attempt to persuade the Bush administration not to scupper his ambitious new "Marshall plan" to tackle poverty, debt and disease in the developing world.

The Chancellor is worried that, without the backing of the United States, his proposal for a £100bn financial package for the world's poorest countries will fail. He announced the plan would be a key goal during Britain's year in the presidency of the G9 leading industrial nations, which starts next month.

During his visit, Mr Brown will meet leading figures from the US government, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. His hopes for a modern day version of the US plan to rebuild Europe after the Second World War rest with a sceptical Bush administration.

In a speech to the Catholic aid agency Cafod, the Chancellor listed Britain's three goals for its G8 presidency as the new financial package, helping poor countries buy vaccines for malaria and Aids and completing the current trade round. Mr Brown said 2005 was "a make or break year for development, a moment of opportunity for development and debt relief, a challenge we must, for the sake of the world's poorest, not squander, but must seize."

Chris Bain, the director of Cafod, said: "He must make sure that his words become actions if 2005 is to be a make and not break year."

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