'We must focus on eradicating extreme poverty': Liberia needs international help, says David Cameron on visit to the country
David Cameron today arrived in the West African state of Liberia and called for the next wave of international development targets to focus on extreme poverty.
Mr Cameron is jointly chairing a high-level UN panel with the country's president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to decide what targets to bring in after the Millennium Development Goals expire in 2015.
Speaking before the meeting Mr Cameron said his focus would be pushing to direct aid spending at the very poorest people.
“Liberia is a country that was absolutely devastated by conflict and civil war,” he said.
“It is now recovering but there is still desperate poverty. I think it is very important we keep a focus on eradicating extreme poverty.
“Here in Liberia, one in 10 children do not make it to the age of five. But I also think it is important we look at those things that keep countries poor. Conflict, corruption, lack of justice, lack of the rule of law.
“These things matter as well as money.”
Before the meeting Mr Cameron visited the Anna F Whisnant Elementary school with the country's president, 74-year-old Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Meeting children in the playground outside the school, he asked them all what they wanted to do. Many of them said they wanted to be doctors, lawyers and even government ministers.
Asked by Mr Cameron what they would do if they ran the school, one child replied: “Open a library.”
Mr Cameron replied: “If you ask children in the UK, all they want to be is pop stars and footballers."
Mr Cameron has strongly defended the aid spending despite the austerity being imposed to balance the country's books.
However, the Government has yet to fulfil its commitment to enshrine the GDP ratio in law.
The next round of development goals are due to run from 2015 to 2030.
Mr Cameron favours targets that focus on eradicating absolute poverty over the period.
International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
Oscar Pistorius trial: The week he went from a hero of his nation and the world, to a gun-loving hothead
International Women’s Day: 'When a man gives his opinion, he's a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she's a bitch' - feminist quotes from female icons to inspire you
Malaysia Airlines plane: Oil slick is first sign that missing flight crashed into sea killing up to 239 on board
International Women's Day 2014: Cherie Blair - ‘Today is a chance to see how far we still have to go’
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
White people become less racist just by moving to more diverse areas, study finds
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
- 1 To those who can’t see the point of International Women’s Day: you are the very reason it exists
- 2 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 3 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 4 Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...