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Sachs urges sustained financial intervention -

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(generated from captions) of the Polish and Russian economies. in the transformation of the world's poor These days he's a champion financial intervention is needed and argues that sustained to turn troubled economies around.

I spoke with Professor Sachs Earlier today, Columbia University in New York, from his office at where he heads the Earth Institute.

Jeffrey Sachs, you say that extreme

poverty can be eliminated in our

lifetime. That is a big claim. Why

do you think it's doable? We've

it already. The world has done it do you think it's doable? We've done

it already. The world has done it in four-fifth of humanity. We're down

to the poorest of the poor. Roughly

about one out of every five, one

about one out of every five, one out of every six people on the planet,

still a lot of people, more than a

billion people, stuck in extreme

poverty, but development has been

successful in other parts of the

world that can be successful as

world that can be successful as well in the poorest parts of Africa, the

poorest parts of Asia, the poorest

parts of Latin America, practical

steppies can make a difference.

What of the specific UN millennium

project goals that of course is to

halve world poverty by the year

2015, as we stand today, is that

looking remotely achievable?

The first I believe that the

millennium development goals are

achievable and they are the halfway

station 2015 to cut extreme poverty

by half, 2025 we could eliminate

extreme poverty on the planet.

extreme poverty on the planet. There would be the extreme poor but not

the extreme poor fieging for their

lives each day. The millennium

lives each day. The millennium goals can be met if the rich and the poor

countries work effectively together

20 do very practical things. For

African farmers for example to

triple their yield so they're

getting the same kinds of yields

that farm ners other parts of the

world is get, what it would take is

to help them use fertiliser and

improved seed. Those simple steps

could make a huge difference. If

children in Africa were sleepg

children in Africa were sleepg under anti-malaria bed mets, we could

bring down the number of people

dying from that disease, we could

save more than 1 million children

every year. The point is that

straightforward proven technologies

that exist but don't reach the

poorest of the poor are what we

poorest of the poor are what we need to make the difference. Toe achieve

this, you are calling on the

this, you are calling on the world's richest countries to double their

financial assistance to the world's

poorest. How are we doing at the

moment? What's the report card look

like? Who is being generous and who

could afford do a lot more? The

irony is the poor countries are

asking so little from us. They're

asking so little from us. They're so poor you might think they want to

overturn the world system but

they're just saying give us a

helping hand and the helping hand

has been define as something as

has been define as something as less than 1 % of our incomes. Precisely

in 2002, all of our leaders

committed to make concrete efforts

towards the target of 0.7% - that

towards the target of 0.7% - that is 7-tenths of GNP of the rich world.

All of Europe now has said, OK,

we'll sign on to reach that target

by the year 2020 - 2015, excuse me.

I'm hoping that Australia, that

Canada, that Japan, the United

States will join Europe in saying,

"We'll make concrete evers as we

promised to. We can reach that

target." I'm gratified that

Australia recently announced a

doubling of its aid by 2010, that's

a great step. Now get on to

fulfilment of a commitment, that

would be a marvellous contribution

of Australia, with a lot of aid of

course going to Australia's region

of the world - to the very poorest

countries of South-East Asia as

countries of South-East Asia as well as of the Pacific. In terms of how

best to deal with poverty, the

message from the G8 summit leaders

meeting in Gleneagle last July and

it's a recurring theme in all of

these diss cushions is aid to poor

countries needs to be tied to an

insistence on stronger governance

and a reduction in corruption. Do

you agree with that? It's good

you agree with that? It's good point but the irony is there are plenty

but the irony is there are plenty of good governments that are very poor

that don't get the help they need.

It would be a more credible

It would be a more credible argument if in fact the well-gonched very

poor countries were out there

getting the help they needed to

getting the help they needed to make the investments. The fact of the

matter is to to an extent this has

been used maybe even as an excuse

for inaction really rather than a

strategy for action. Yes, let's

strategy for action. Yes, let's work with governments that will honestly

use the aid, let's design our aid

programs to be very practical so

programs to be very practical so you can count what we're giving, writ

should go. You can audit it and

monitor it by all means, but let's

do it, not just complain in a

generalised way about bad gonchance

or corruption. Let's make practical

programs that scale up for the

countries that can demonstrate they

can handle. I know there are many

such countries. You've addressed can handle. I know there are many of

this problem all over the world.

When you look particularly at

Africa, particularly subis a Haran

African, why do you think the

efforts there have produced below

average outcomes? There are three

unique challenges I have not seen

other parts of the world - I've unique challenges I have not seen in

worked in #4u7bss of other

and all the continents. I think worked in #4u7bss of other countries

Africa faces some intrinsic

challenges - the frequency of doubt.

The burden of disease like any

un - unlike any part of the world, The burden of disease like any other

malaria now of course the AIDS

pandemic, the need for help to

disease, and third the lack of pandemic, the need for help to fight

connectivity of Africa's village by disease, and third the lack of basic

roads, by telecommunications, even

by electricity is so stark that

you have in the end - it's an awful by electricity is so stark that what

thing and I spent a lot of this

summer visiting villages throughout thing and I spent a lot of this past

the continent seeing hungry,

disease-burdened people living

essentially in isolation. And not

getting the kind of practical help

that they need to grow more today,

to fight the diseases and to

with the markets, even their local to fight the diseases and to connect

and regional markets. Do those

differences help explain the gap

between where Africa is at now and

what we see in South-East Asia? Why

for instance have the Asian tigers

been so successful in lifting their

populations out of poverty in just

matter of decades? If I had to populations out of poverty in just a

to simply one factor, I don't have matter of decades? If I had to point

to, but if I had to simplify it by

pointing to one factor I would say

that Asia had a green revolution in

the 1960s and '70s that allowed it

to lift grammatically its food

production to cut hunger quite

sharply and especially also to give

income to rural farmers and help

those societies that were stuck in

famine and extreme poverty in Asia

to make a transition to

manufacturing, to urban industries,

to export oriented industries. The

green revolution was a massive

trigger out of the extreme poverty

that much of Asia had been in.

Africa too could have a green

revolution. The yields are a third

or a fourth per hectare of what

these farmers ought to be getting

they had access to improved seeds, these farmers ought to be getting if

to small scale water management and

to soil nutrients - fertiliser and

organic means. If we help them get

the same kind of green revolution

that a while ago we helped Asia to

get, I think Africa could also be

its way - it faces these big get, I think Africa could also be on

challenges, it needs an extra

helping hand but I see a way out

I think we ought to be helping helping hand but I see a way out and

Africa take the way out before more

disaster hits. Let's consider some

of the things on the plus side at

the moment as we've seen out of the

IMF and the World Bank meetings

week there's reasonable confidence IMF and the World Bank meetings this

around consensus of debt relief for

the poorest nations. This would

forgive something like $55 million

US and we have Paul Wolfowitz

the past to complete debt relief US and we have Paul Wolfowitz saying

now been cleared. Do you agree with the past to complete debt relief has

that? This has been a struggle.

been involved in this since 1985. that? This has been a struggle. I've

How many words have been spilled

over this issue to try to collect

debts from the poorest of the poor

on the planet. I think we're

reaching the end of the story on

this. That's good. But, alas,

quantity Tatively, the amount of

saving per year may be $2 billion a

year, I don't sneer at it by any

means but the amount Africa needs

tense of bls of dollars a year to means but the amount Africa needs is

get the farmers with increased

productivity, to fight disease, to

build the roads and help the

children to be in school, in other

words the didn't relief is a modest

proportion of a much bigger effort

that's needed. We need the debt

cancellation finally. We've needed

it for years but we also need the

help. It's not that I want to throw

money at problems, I want to throw

fertilisers on to soils so African

farmers aren't living in famine and

being given handouts of food

afterwards. I want them to be able

to grow food at the biophysical

potential they have but they can't

meet because they lack these basic

inputs right now. Another argument

is the best way for poor count

Troyes le verse their poverty is to

trade their way out of poverty. And

this all comes back to successful

liberalisation around trade

agreements. I am a trade economist

and I'm definitely in favour of

trade-led growth. I also happen to

visit communities that are so impov

riched they have no road, no

transport, no link to markets, the

transport in the village is a woman

carrying things on her head in and

out of the village mainly to the

water hole. These are places in

isolation right now it's a little water hole. These are places in such

bit premature to believe that trade

is going to save them as opposed to

helping to build a base, just a

maddest base of infrastructure to

that then trade can do it. And

are places that could trade more if that then trade can do it. And there

it weren't for the agricultural

barriers that Australia's rightly

fighting against. But we have to

it in perspective - this argument fighting against. But we have to put

that it's trade, not aid, is

absolutely wrong. It's a slogan,

a reality. It's trade and aid. And absolutely wrong. It's a slogan, not

it's aid to the places that really

need it. That's not every place but

it's to the places that need it to

meet the basic needs of investing

health, of investing in education, meet the basic needs of investing in

investing in water and sanitation,

in roads and improved agricultural

productivity. So where do you sense

we're at in this debate? We had the

pop star advocacy in the past few

months rk it's been on the G8

agenda. Is there momentum around

this issue? There's progress, but

it's difficult to rain. There's an

area where you can get lots of nice

words but not so many results. So I

think we really need to decide all

of us is it safe and prudent to

hundreds of millions of people of us is it safe and prudent to have

struggling for survival on our

planet and millions dying every

year, is that safe from the point

view of national security where year, is that safe from the point of

we're trying to help make safe and

stable countries? Is it good for us

in terms of public health? Is it

good for us in terms of fighting

global criminality, unwant

and so forth? I think the answer global criminality, unwant migration

surely is no. If people could see

clearly what I think is right, that

there are practical, modest cost

steps to carrying this out, they

would say to our governments,

get on with it. We don't feel safe, would say to our governments, "Let's

secure or proper in our own skins

knowing how much suffering could be

aleave yaetd." So think there is

progress, more understanding, but

still turning words into action is

the biggest challenge. What of the

difficulty of the UN continuing to

drive this? Particularly given how

beleaguered the secretary general

looks now,? Can the impetus behind

the goals be maintain snds One

should understand the UN is in part

beleaguered because the far right

beleaguered because the far right in the United States has pounded on

the United States has pounded on the UN in - I think in a very

irresponsible and reckless way for

many years now. And there have been

nose the United States that have

basically said, "We don't want any

constraints, we don't need to

cooperate, we're the sole

superpower, we will do it on our

own." What a mistake. And we're

learning the consequences of it in

Iraq because this is a painful

quagmire right now and really very

costly one in blood and in money

relevant partly reflects the

decision of the United States to go

it alone and I think the costs are

showing Americans we should work

together, we should be

together, we should be strengthening the UN, not pounding on the UN. I

hope we've turned a corner in our

body poll tick in the United States

on this because we need a strong UN.

Kofi Annan is a wonderful,

marvellous leader for the world.

He's been in a hard position with

He's been in a hard position with US - with unilateralist impulses and

far right attacks, but I think he's

a very strong leader and is the

compon of the millennium

compon of the millennium development goals and he can provide vital,

unique leadership for them. Finally,

poverty in your own country, in the

United States, certainly in the

United States, certainly in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. I think it's

fair to say it's been a shock for

many to see how frim life still is

for many African Americans and this

is 40 years after the great society

programs of Linden Johnson.

╝Yellow╛The poor have been off the

radar screen in American politics

for a long time anded they're not

just the poor of Africa but the

just the poor of Africa but the poor of the United States as well. The

poverty rate in the United States

has gone up every year

has gone up every year unfortunately of the Bush Administration. We have

approximately 40 million people

below the poverty line in the

below the poverty line in the United States. We don't have a health care

system that is adequate and

obviously we don't have an

obviously we don't have an emergency response system that's adequate. It

is the poll tick - politics of

neglect in a way when people just

aren't seen by the political

process. This is part of the

inequities of our own society. I

think it goes hand in hand with

perhaps the very low level of US

effort for the world's poors as a

share of GNP. We just haven't been

paying attention to the kind of

world we're living in, in our own

country or internationally. I think

Americans are coming to understand

we'd better start thinking harder,

thinking about climate change,

thinking about the risks of

hurricanes, thinking about the

hurricanes, thinking about the facts of big divisions between wealth and

poor within our countries and

thinking about the fact that our

military power is not going to be

able to do all that was said about

it. We need to be working closely

with all of the rest of the world,

including very poor countries to

help those countries get out of

their mess. Jeffrey Sachs, for your

time tonight, thank you very much

indeed. Pleasure to be with you.

Thanks a lot. To the markets now - the All Ordinaries ended the week in the red, despite a positive lead from Wall Street. Profit-taking weighed on resource stocks. All the major banks retreated, led by the NAB.

Energy stocks bucked the trend - Santos added more than 2%. In the region, both the Hang Seng and the Nikkei have declined. London's FTSE has also fallen. On the commodities markets, gold is stronger. Oil is trading just below US$67 a barrel and the Australian dollar is buying 76.1 US cents. Now to the weather. And that's all for this evening.