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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

African Poverty

Aired July 2, 2005 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: Next up, a CNN special, "CAN WE SAVE THEM?" But first, the news.
Here are the latest details on the Idaho girl who was found alive six weeks after she and her brother disappeared. Eight-year-old Shasta Groene was found at a restaurant today near her home with a registered sex offender. Police say there is information indicating Shasta's missing nine-year-old brother may be dead. But they continue to search for him.

The man Shasta was found with has been charged with kidnapping.

CAPT. BEN WOLFINGER, KOOTENAI COUNTY, IDAHO POLICE: We know he has a history as far back as 1980 of rape in Pierce County, Washington. He is a registered sex offender in Minnesota. One of his outstanding warrants is failure to register as a sex offender in Washington. The other is unlawful flight to avoid prosecution out of Minnesota for a second degree sexual offense.

And in cities around the world, the fight against poverty: big- name stars are performing in a charity marathon called Live 8. The rockers want the G-8 nations to give financial aid to help improve conditions in Africa.

In Afghanistan, the search continues for an American military team. The small group of U.S. Special Forces has been missing since Tuesday. U.S. warplanes bombed a suspected Taliban compound in the search area. There is no word yet on damage from the strike.

Two photos, one an Iranian hostage taker in 1979, the other on the right, Iranian president-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. U.S. experts have found serious discrepancies between the faces in the pictures, leading some to believe they are not the same man.

That is what's happening right now in the news. I'm Carol Lin. Now to CNN'c Special Report, "CAN WE SAVE THEM?"

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, HOST: Good evening. I'm Christiane Amanpour in Ethiopia, a country of staggering beauty but startling misery. But it's not alone because this is Africa, and half of all Africans live in extreme poverty.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): In the year 2000, the world's richest nations made promises to the poor: to cut global poverty in half, to stop disease, to save children's lives and send them to school, to do it all and more by the year 2015.

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We're not going to meet these goals unless we change course.

AMANPOUR: Today, despite those millennium goals, millions are still starving. So what can we do? And what should we do? Tonight, a CNN special report, CAN WE SAVE THEM?

(on camera): This weekend, the world's biggest rock stars are singing songs for Africa.

(voice-over): Millions of people will tune in to Live 8, where rock stars are trying to pressure the richest nations to help the poorest. In just a few days, in Scotland, the leaders of those countries will gather for the G8 summit. They'll consider an ambitious program of aid and reform. British Prime Minister Tony Blair is spearheading the effort, and I'll talk with him a bit later in this broadcast.

(on camera): But here in Africa, people need action, and they need it now. This is Ethiopia's Tigray province, which for years has endured war and famine and disease. Indeed, most of Ethiopia's 73 million people live on less than $1 a day. That is the kind of poverty that kills. And here in the village of Koraro, one of the most isolated in this whole country, every day people struggle between life and death.

(voice-over): It's early morning in Koraro. A mother gets up to start her day. Young girls set off to fetch water. A shepherd tends his flock, and fathers start another day breaking rocks for building. This is a place where 5,000 people live in abject poverty, poverty measured not in income but in hostile soil, hunger, disease and dirty water.

Marza (ph) and her children have walked an hour to fetch water from this rain hole. It's where they wash and where their animals drink, too.

(on camera): Is this clean water? Is it good water?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It's very bad.

AMANPOUR: Do you get sick?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Yes.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): But it's all they have.

(on camera): What would make your life better?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Clean water.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Marza heaves the dirty water onto her back, ties it around her shoulders and walks another hour home. She does this four times a day. That's what all Koraro's women do every day: fetch water, grind maize by hand, try to provide for their family.

Littai (ph) prepares injera, traditional Ethiopian bread. This will last her and her five children all day.

(on camera): Are your children hungry?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Yes.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): And they usually go to school hungry. At the school, I asked them about their diet.

(on camera): Raise your hands if you have three meals a day.

(voice-over): No hands go up, nor when I ask about two meals.

(on camera): One meal? How many of you are hungry? Why are they laughing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we are hungry. We are -- that's what -- we are hungry.

AMANPOUR: It's just normal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): But even on empty stomachs, they come to school. Hastoum (ph) teaches 7th grade outdoors because Koraro doesn't have enough classrooms.

(on camera): Put your hands up if you want to go to 8th grade.

(voice-over): But there is no 8th grade here.

(on camera): How far away is the next village or the next school that has an 8th grade?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three to four hours from here.

AMANPOUR: Three to four hours walking?

(voice-over): The village has no vehicle. The children spend only half a day in school and the rest at work, even the smallest ones. After class, they run down the hill to the riverbed, where slowly, under a burning midday sun, they fill sacks, tins and whatever they can find with sand to make mortar for the new schoolrooms their fathers will build from the rocks they crush every morning.

On the way back up the hill, 7-year-old Arazia's (ph) bag breaks, and for a moment, he's at a loss.

(on camera): Is it hard work?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Yes.

AMANPOUR: Do you think it's normal for a 7-year-old boy to work like you do? UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Yes.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): We asked young Amachal (ph)...

(on camera): What do you think you're going to be when you -- when you grow up? When do you think you're going to get married?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I don't want to get married. I want to be a teacher.

AMANPOUR: Why don't you want to get married?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It's bad. When you are a child and have a baby, it's a bad situation.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Amachal is only 9.

(on camera): Do you think your parents will force you to get married?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I don't know.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Typically, parents marry off their little girls when they can no longer afford to feed them. More than half Koraro's 1,500 children are severely malnourished. A simple illness or mosquito bite can kill them. Life expectancy in Koraro is 40. Littai is 37. The bread she showed us earlier will also be dinner for six.

(on camera): When was the last time you had meat or you gave your children meat to eat?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Three months ago. It was a holiday, and we had chicken.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): I ask her older son...

(on camera): Is this enough for you, this little piece of bread?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): What I can do, whether it's enough or not?

AMANPOUR: How much do you think we eat in America for dinner?

(LAUGHTER)

AMANPOUR: What?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Until (INAUDIBLE) full.

AMANPOUR: Until they're full.

(LAUGHTER)

(voice-over): But Littai's 14-year-old daughter thinks she'll have a better life. (on camera): What do you want most in the world?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): To finish school.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): After a long day of chores at dawn, school and more chores, this is how the children of Koraro end their day, doing homework by the light of a kerosene lamp.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

Koraro has luckily escaped the AIDS crisis that is ravaging the rest of Africa, but that's because of its near total isolation. If a proper road is ever built here, that'll bring trucks. Trucks will bring truck drivers, and truck drivers will bring AIDS.

Up next: AIDS in Ethiopia's capital.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You come into this room, and these people are dying. And -- and there's nothing you can do. You can just love them and -- and do the very best you can to -- to make sure at their last moments that they felt that there was someone there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: And later: He says it's a moral duty to help the poor. When I come back, my exclusive interview with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

AMANPOUR: Consider this. By the end of this hour, AIDS will have killed another 13 Ethiopians. That's a staggering toll of 2,300 deaths per week. We're going to take you now to a place that cameras have never before been. It's one of Mother Teresa's hospices, where the sick and dying can receive a little dignity, if not treatment, in their final hours.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): This is where poverty ends. With a tap on the head, the dying are summoned, lifted to their feet and ushered through the door. Inside, a calm, peaceful place where the sisters of the Missionaries of Charity, the order founded by the late Mother Teresa, minister to the sick. Here patients lie two to a bed, most too weak to stand. Many move nothing but their eyes.

Sister Benedicta oversees the hospital here in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

(on camera): You've been here for 15 years. Did you think it would get better? Did you think that you would still keep seeing these kind of skeletal women, patients?

SISTER BENEDICTA, MISSIONARIES OF CHARITY: I have seen them when I came to Ethiopia because of the civil war and farming (ph). But now still I see them, and there are, I think, more (INAUDIBLE) more because of HIV-AIDS.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Six hundred adults are here. Ninety percent of them are infected with the AIDS virus, and every day brings three, four or even five deaths.

(on camera): How long is she going to survive, do you think?

SISTER BENEDICTA: One week, two weeks.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Most at the hospice cannot be cured, only soothed in their final days.

SISTER BENEDICTA: They would not come to this home -- not one person would come to this home if they would find a better place, if they would find a place where somebody will take care of them, feed them, wash them, care for them, be with them. Often, it is only just to be with a person until the end. You and me, when we die, what do we need? We need somebody to be there.

AMANPOUR: We're standing in the women's ward, haven for the most desperately ill.

SISTER BENEDICTA: They have come when it is actually in the very, very end stage. They come if they really cannot move anymore a step (INAUDIBLE). They have their children. They live on the street. They have their houses, their villages (INAUDIBLE) so they come really when it is in the end stage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, I've always wanted to work with the sisters of Mother Teresa and to work with the poor.

AMANPOUR: Francesca Church is 18 years old and far from her London home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You watch the famine in Ethiopia on the television, and you sit in the comfort of your -- of your sitting room, and it's -- and there's no way in which you can actually smell the smells and really touch the people and really actually feel what it's like.

AMANPOUR: It's an intense experience for someone so young.

(on camera): How do you cope?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Faith is the only way that I -- that I can cope. And I came here and I think that's -- that's one -- that's my -- my one strength, is that I know that -- that when these people go, that they go to God. That's the incredible beauty of it, is that -- that you come into this room, and these people are dying and -- and there's -- there's nothing you can do. You can just love them and do the very best you can to -- to make sure at their last moments that they felt that there was someone there.

AMANPOUR: Anthony Wall (ph) is a 20-year-old pre-med student from southern California.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of these people are going to die, and either they die on the street or they die with somebody giving them love and care.

AMANPOUR: His own experience has not been without risk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was trying to flush out an IV, and I got -- blood got into my eye. For about a day, I was thinking, You know, I could get HIV. And that's obviously a danger and a risk that I came willing to take.

AMANPOUR: Luckily, Anthony's OK. He tested negative for HIV.

Here, where the sick line up for what little medicine is available, where incense billows in crowded rooms, death is part of everyday life. But hope still endures.

SISTER BENEDICTA: There's even a certain serenity in them. And death as a relief or death as a release, that's not to mean a resignation. It means there is something better than what I had here. These people teach (ph) us what is heaven (ph), you know?

AMANPOUR: So do these people, the more than 500 children who live at the mission. They were either abandoned by their poverty- stricken parents or orphaned by AIDS. Police find them on the streets and bring them here, into the sisters' care. About half of them are HIV-positive, but others are healthy. They look towards a bright future beyond these walls and beyond the extreme poverty of Ethiopia, hoping they may soon be adopted abroad.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

It's not difficult to find worthy charities trying to ease the misery here, but when the world's governments try to help the poorest African countries, they quickly run into a dilemma: corruption. It's everywhere.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NUHU RIBADU, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION: We are not running away from the problem. We never said that we are not corrupt. And we never said that it is something that we cannot do anything about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: Next, in our special report, the chances for reform. And later: British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his new effort to rally his friend, President George W. Bush, to step up his commitment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

AMANPOUR: You see it all the time on television, starving children, destroyed villages, dying people. And often, people turn away from these pictures, they're so common now. It's called "compassion fatigue." But world governments, with all their money and all their power, cannot afford to turn away, but they are getting tired of dictators and thugs who steal money, millions of dollars, and sabotage critical programs designed to help. And yet if you look hard enough, as CNN's Jeff Koanange reports, you can find reformers trying to make a difference.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEFF KOANANGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She's probably not the obvious choice to lead a crusade against corruption in a country where graft seems like a national pastime. But Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala, Nigeria's finance minister, relishes a good fight and likes to clean house.

NGOZI OKONJO-IWEALA, NIGERIAN FINANCE MINISTER: Corruption is (INAUDIBLE) In my country, we accept it.

KOANANGE: After 20 years at the World Bank, Okonjo-Iweala was offered a cabinet position to help battle what she calls "Africa's scourge," corruption. But she has no illusions she can make changes overnight.

OKONJO-IWEALA: The first thing you do in fighting a problem is to acknowledge openly you have it. And then when you acknowledge you have it and you've made the analysis of where the problem is, then you fight it.

KOANANGE: Over the years, billions of dollars in aid have been siphoned. Today Nigeria's foreign debt has ballooned to more than $35 billion. Despite some impressive changes over the past five years, Western donors find it difficult to forgive Nigeria.

OKONJO-IWEALA: We are trying to correct a lot of things in the economy that have not gone right in the past. We're trying to reform the way we manage our public expenditures, set the budget right, and rein in fiscal -- fiscal spending. And we've done that.

KOANANGE: And there's another reason. While Nigeria is one of the world's largest oil producers, pumping two million barrels a day, about two thirds of its population live on less than a dollar a day. When the G8 meets, Nigeria's hoping for some debt relief, but it'll be an uphill battle.

OKONJO-IWEALA: There are days when it's so hard, you know, to be so difficult, because in reforming, you know you're fighting vested interests who are busy trying to tell people that the reforms aren't working, when they actually are, you know, who are busy trying to paint the country differently for their own political interest.

KOANANGE: Finance Minister Okonjo-Iweala has an energetic sidekick in her fight against corruption. Nuhu Ribadu, head of Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, or EFCC. The lawyer-turned-police officer has come to be known as the anti- corruption czar, a daunting title in a country that many say is the most corrupt in the world. NUHU RIBADU, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION: We are not running away from the problem. We never said that we are not corrupt. And we never said that it is something that we cannot do anything about.

OKONJO-IWEALA: Among Ribadu's recent cases, the arrest of a state governor with a suitcase full of money at London's Heathrow Airport. And he forced Nigeria's inspector general of police to resign after more than $10 million U.S. was allegedly discovered in his bank account. These examples, though, are a mere drop in the bucket when you consider the amount of money stashed illegally in overseas accounts by Nigerians. Ribadu puts that figure at more than $20 billion.

Of course, the ultimate victims of this rampant corruption are ordinary Nigerians.

RIBADU: Nigeria is a country that there has to be a rule of law. It's not going to be a safe haven for criminals. No, no.

OKONJO-IWEALA: Words that seem so much more easier said than done.

It may take years, maybe even decades, to help solve Nigeria's corruption problems. And while some small steps are being taken, the question is, how much of a difference will it make to those living on just a dollar a day?

Jeff Koanange, CNN, Lagos.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR: Later, my exclusive interview with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

Is it fair to hold them accountable to their bad government?

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It's not their fault if their governments aren't making the proper -- the proper measures and putting the proper measures in place in order to tackle these things. We've got to help them anyway.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AMANPOUR: but first, up next: How villages like Koraro are fixing their own problems.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP - HBO "THE GIRL IN THE CAFE")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the G-8 conference, actually.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's that?

(END VIDEO CLIP) AMANPOUR: And later, a unique television program. It's a love story that's also a parable about helping Africa.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LIN: Good evening, I'm Carol Lin. More of CNN's Special Report "CAN WE SAVE THEM?" in just a moment. But first a look at what's happening right now in the news.

A girl missing from the home of a triple homicide is found alive a couple miles from where she disappeared back in May. Her brother, though, may be dead. Officials charged a registered sex offender with kidnapping Shasta Groene.

In Afghanistan, the search continues for a small group of U.S. Special Forces missing for five days. U.S. warplanes bombed a suspected Taliban compound in the search area, but there's no word yet on damage from the strike.

Explosions rocked the capital of Kosovo today. The Serbian province is under U.N. administration and the ethnic Albanian majority wants it to become independent. No one was hurt in the three blasts aimed at government targets.

And around the world, hundreds of thousands of fans have gathered for a series of rock concerts featuring many of the biggest names in music. The global event called Live 8 is aimed at fighting poverty in Africa.

And a huge comeback win for Venus Williams today in the longest women's final in Wimbledon's history. She won the championship after being seeded number 14. Top-ranked Lindsay Davenport was the last obstacle in her way. Williams now has three Wimbledon credits.

That's what's happening right now in the news. I'm Carol Lin. Now, back to CNN's special report, "Can We Save Them?"

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AMANPOUR (on camera): When you mention Africa, often people just shrug, and when you talk about trying to eradicate extreme poverty, they roll their eyes. But the U.N. is trying to do just that. The Millennium Project says it's simple; it's just never been done this way before.

(voice-over): It may not look like much, but here, the future is growing. In the rocky soil of one of the poorest villages in one of the poorest countries on Earth.

Gabra Medin (ph) has never been able to grow enough crops to feed his family of five, but now...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): They're teaching us modern ways of planting. It will help me in the future.

AMANPOUR: Kararo (ph) is a test village, part of a program seeking to eradicate extreme poverty in Africa.

The United Nations Millennium Project has dispatched agricultural experts here to teach the basics, how to plant seeds in tidy rows rather than scatter them haphazardly. How to use fertilizer, a previously unavailable treasure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Food grows with fertilizer.

AMANPOUR: Erin Trogridge (ph) works for the Millennium Project.

(on camera): What is helping that farmer there going to do for this village?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, it gets him to where he can grow enough crops to feed his family. Eventually, they grow enough alternative crops that they can sell on the market. Eventually, there is enough of a need for a market in this village, so they build a road. As the road gets built, the health care system comes.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): For these villages, that's a long way off, but with help, they hope to cultivate a consistent supply of food, and even more importantly, water.

Only 34 families in this community of 5,000 have access to fresh drinking water. With the U.N.'s help, that will change.

Clean water will help prevent the fatal diseases, which have long plagued this village.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is a natural spring up here that collects clean, cool, fresh water.

AMANPOUR: And by building irrigation dams, the U.N. Millennium Project is redirecting that stream into a freshwater pond, where it will be used for washing and farming.

The rainy season is coming, and with it, mosquitoes that carry malaria, which here is a killer.

(on camera): How many of you are frightened of malaria?

(voice-over): Every 30 seconds, an African child dies of the disease. That's more than a million children a year.

(on camera): How are you going to prevent malaria ravaging this village?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Malaria bed nets. Insecticide-treated malaria bed nets can cut the risk of malaria by about 80 percent.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): Kararo (ph) now has a tiny clinic, and soon they will have a vehicle to transport the gravely ill to more advanced facilities.

Villagers look forward to the day when friends will no longer die on four-hour treks to the closest hospital, nearly 20 miles away. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): There is no transportation, so the men make a stretcher and carry them on their shoulders.

AMANPOUR: So soon, a truck could replace this motorbike. A mill will mean that women don't have to grind grain by hand anymore. And a generator will mean that these children won't have to study by the light of a kerosene lamp.

By tackling a prefect storm -- hunger, thirst and disease -- and tackling it all at once, the U.N. hopes to help these villagers help themselves.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We give them the basic tools that they need to -- to not to get to the middle class, but to get to the rung, to the get to the bottom rung of the ladder of development. And then they can climb out themselves.

You've seen in this village that it's the opposite. I've never seen people so motivated. Every day, children who get up and do back- breaking work before they go to school.

AMANPOUR: So simple, a basic plan, a minimal investment. It may not look like much, but here, the future is growing.

Next, I'll ask Prime Minister Tony Blair what more can we do to help the people of Africa.

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The aid can help relieve the worst poverty. The aid can help build capacity, but in the end, these poor countries have got to sell their goods into our markets.

AMANPOUR: And later, the obstacles at the G-8 summit, told in a love story.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

AMANPOUR (on camera): Welcome back to our special report. This week, the leaders of the G-8, the world's top economic powers, sit down in Scotland together to try a new plan to help Africa, aimed at halving extreme poverty by the year 2015. It's an ambitious plan, and the driving force behind it is the British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Prime Minister, thank you for talking to us here in Downing Street.

What motivates you to take up the cause of Africa?

BLAIR: There is a strong moral reason, because there are thousands of children dying every day from preventable diseases. There are millions of people who have died in circumstances that were preventable in Africa over the past few years, through conflict, through famine, through disease. And I think there's a very strong reason of self-interest as well. Africa is a continent of mixed religion and mixed races. If we end up with a continent continuing to get poorer and its people devoid of any hope, I think that could cause us huge problems in the future. So I think there are reasons of self- interest, but frankly, the moral cause is uppermost in my mind.

AMANPOUR: Given that it is such an urgent issue, that millions of people are dying of preventable and treatable problems in Africa, how quickly will you and the other rich, developed nations move to the 0.7 in terms of budgets of foreign aid?

BLAIR: Well, we're going to move over the next few years, I mean, by 2013 we will reach an 0.7. I am recently hopeful at the summit, that we will get a substantial increase in aid to Africa, although very much with emphasis on measures to root out corruption, for better governance, for conflict resolution, as well as simply more money.

AMANPOUR: How will you do it if the United States does not move up to 0.7? And there is no indication that it will, and President Bush is being quite firm on that.

BLAIR: Well, what I would ask him to do, and hope that he will be able to do is increase significantly the amount of aid that's going to Africa. I mean, he's doubled it already. I would like to see effectively a doubling of the amount of money that America is paying, because I think that tied to the proper ways of using that money, to things like education and dealing with the killer diseases, to water sanitation and infrastructure, the proof is there it can make a real difference.

AMANPOUR: The way it's being described to me is that this is an effort to prevent the kind of poverty that kills, that literally kills. It's an effort to get people just on the bottom rung of the ladder, so they can help themselves up. What's your reaction when people say, well, you know, we've tried it before, we've been there, done that, it doesn't work?

BLAIR: I mean, my reaction is to say, first of all, look at the areas in which it has worked. And often countries have been helped to do better.

The second thing is to say, we've made certain commitments internationally. All of us signed up to the United Nations millennium development goals on poverty and on education, on the killer diseases. We're not going to meet these goals unless we change course, and it's not a great deal to ask. I mean, even when we get to 0.7 percent of our GDP, it's not -- it's not a massive undertaking that's going to mean our people here in Britain are poor.

It isn't right to say either that nothing can be done, which is the counsel of despair, and far too easy to fall into in politics, or that when you act, it doesn't have an effect. Because you can see, I mean, the debt relief that we've given to some of these countries, look at primary education in Uganda, look at the changes that have been happening recently in Ghana. It's possible. I mean, it's not impossible for countries to change.

AMANPOUR: I've just come back from Ethiopia, watching one of these projects try to help the poorest of the poor out of their killer poverty, and I spoke with a prime minister who obviously was very grateful for the debt cancellation, grateful for increasing aid, but he said that what really is necessary to help Africa help itself is the E.U. subsidies to be cancelled for trade reform of the sort of unfair trade policies that keep Africans in their perpetual poverty. What are you going to do about that? What can you do?

BLAIR: We can make sure the E.U. changes. We are trying to make sure the European Union does that. But America and Japan have got obligations to change policy as well.

You're absolutely right. I mean, this is one of the main things that the aid -- the aid can help relieve the worst poverty. The aid can help build capacity, but in the end, these poor countries have got to sell their goods into our markets. And particularly their agricultural products. And the pay-distorting subsidies that the wealthy countries have with respect to agriculture, it's not in the interests then of our own consumers, and it's certainly not in the interests of those poorest countries.

AMANPOUR: I read that, for instance, an E.U. cow gets $2 a day in subsidy, which is double what an average African gets.

BLAIR: That's right, and that's why it's got to change.

AMANPOUR: What about people who say that there's just no way we're going to increase aid or help to Africa until every single government is accountable? Is it fair to hold people who are dying every day because they live on less than $1 a day, is it fair to hold them accountable to their bad governments?

BLAIR: Part of the whole deal here is that you're not going to get the extra help for governments to improve unless they are prepared to come up to the mark in terms of governance, action against corruption and so on.

But the second thing is, for the children that are dying, needlessly, of disease, I mean, it's not their fault if their governments aren't making their proper -- their proper measures and putting the proper measures in place in order to tackle these things. We've got to help them anyway, and we can help them.

The fact is, there are around about a million people in Africa now getting help with HIV/AIDS. There's a million people who weren't getting help before now. If you go and talk to those people and say, you know, is this aid all wasted, they'll sure enough tell you it isn't.

AMANPOUR: Do you think that if people in America, which pays 0.1 percent, or people of England or Europe, who pay by now in the region of 0.3 or 0.4, do you think if people knew how little in fact their governments do pay for foreign aid, that they would come around to supporting their governments when they want to increase that?

BLAIR: I think they would, but I think what is important this time is that we do show real deliverables out of this, so that for example, we're able to turn around at the summit in two years' time and say, here are the number of extra children in primary education. You got 130 million kids in Africa without access to proper education. If you were able to do this and show tangible outcome, then I think that would make a big, big difference to public support.

I mean, I think you're right in saying there is -- there is a worry. You know, we've heard all this before, we've been hearing it for decades over Africa. Is there anything that can be done?

AMANPOUR: Mr. Prime Minister, thank you very much indeed for joining us.

BLAIR: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: Up next, the last thing you'd expect to find at a G-8 summit is a love story.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So tell me, what is it that you're arguing about tomorrow?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, God, it's pretty boring stuff.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Promise I won't be bored.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, eight men in one room could literally save hundreds of millions of lives. Maybe by the time we've finished, 15,000 children won't die unnecessarily each day.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): It's a simple tale about changing the world. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

AMANPOUR (on camera): HBO, which is also owned by CNN's parent company, Time Warner, is currently running a film. At first glance, it looks like a love story, but in fact, it is a powerful political wake-up call. The girl in this movie asks one of the key questions of 2005: Will this be the year the world finally gets serious about saving Africa? Watch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm Lawrence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm Gina.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, you wouldn't care (INAUDIBLE) to meet again for a coffee or a bite to eat or something sometime?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Goodness, you've certainly...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Scrubbed up?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wasn't going to -- surely, anyway, it's -- it's very good to see you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Isn't that the chancellor of the exchequer?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right. He's my boss, as it were. This is Gina.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: William. Pleased to meet you, Gina. Please make sure that Lawrence gets back to his post by nightfall. The welfare of our cold and bitter country actually depends on him putting in a decent day's work once in a while.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I won't say another word to him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm actually going away next Friday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where to?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Reykjavik.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Goodness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the G-8 conference, actually.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, it's a long shindig where the big eight world leaders make plans for the next year.

I just wondered if you might like to come.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good Lord. Good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I used both the big towels.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll be fine. I'm not really a big towel kind of guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here we go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes. I'll be right with you. It's not what you think. There's actually nothing happening between us.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) powerful (INAUDIBLE) before.

So tell me, what is it you're arguing about tomorrow?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, God, it's pretty boring stuff.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Promise I won't be bored.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, eight men in one room could literally save hundreds of millions of lives. Maybe by the time we've finished, 15,000 children won't die unnecessarily each day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fighting poverty is very important to me, but it's also important that we represent the interests of people in our own country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't believe for a moment that people in our country wouldn't want you to represent their interest if you were doing it instead of talking about saving the lives of millions and millions of children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lawrence didn't tell us that you were a woman with such strong opinions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've been looking at some of this stuff. Hope you don't mind.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I don't mind.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can it really be true that 800 million people are living on less than $1 a day?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And at the other end of the scale, there are cows in Scotland that are subsidized to the tune of 12,000 pounds a year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning, Gina. Good morning, Lawrence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good morning, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Sir Gerhard (ph), my equivalent number in Germany.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good morning. And how is it going with the millennium goals now, Chancellor?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we'll do all right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is all right good enough? Is all right good enough for you, Mr. Gerhard (ph)?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think all right is a lot more than many expected.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So lots more mothers die the day they give birth, lots more children die before they're 5, lots and lots more die of diseases that are just a drop by a doctor for people like you and me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a very complex issue, Gina. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know. But then my dad, who maybe wasn't as educated as you two, used to say that a lot of knowledge can be dangerous too. It's tough seeing the heart of things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Enjoy your meal.

Who is that woman?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sorry. I'm terribly sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, no, I mean it. Who is she?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's just a girl I met in a cafe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is she? Is she?

There is a security issue here, Lawrence. She is disrupting things.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They want me to go, of course.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you want me to do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five years ago, we made a series of the most magnificent promises, even if we may not yet the power to fulfill them all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's not true. It can't be impossible. It must be possible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, we have an epic day ahead of us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which brings us to these wretched millennium goals. And my instinct and therefore my determination is that we cannot allow this casual holocaust to take place on our watch for one more year.

So extreme poverty will return to the top of the agenda, and anyone who thinks that's negotiable, is, as my dad used to say, "bloody well mistaken."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are we alone in this, or will someone else stand beside us?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're coming out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Turn on your TV.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's my duty to report to you the outcome of this summit, a summit when I believe we had the opportunity to change the world.

AMANPOUR: "The Girl in the Cafe," currently running on our sister network, HBO.

I'll be back with more from Ethiopia in a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

AMANPOUR: Across Africa, in this last hour alone, another 262 people have died of AIDS, and across the world in this last day alone, another 20,000 people have died of extreme poverty.

Nelson Mandela once said that poverty is not natural. It's man- made, and can be ended by the actions of human beings. He might also have said that our generation can be the one to end the kind of poverty that kills. We have the money. We have the ability. But do we have the will?

At concert stages and at conference tables and here in Ethiopia, people of good will are making a start.

I'm Christiane Amanpour. Thank you for watching.

END

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