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Progress for the poor

5,000 delighted debt campaigners gathered in Trafalgar Square in early December having heard Chancellor Gordon Brown announce that Britain will no longer take debt money from 41 of the world's poorest countries.

Speaking at a rally organised by Jubilee 2000, the Chancellor said: 'Because poverty is so great and the need is so urgent, neither you nor I want the richer countries to benefit any more from the debts of these poorest countries. So I can tell you that I will renounce our right to receive any benefit from the historic debt owed by all the 41 most-indebted countries. From today, all debt payments received by us will be held in trust for poverty relief, paid when poverty reduction plans are agreed and backdated to this day.'