Aid for alleviation

THE INTERNATIONAL aid organisation, Oxfam, wants Western governments to evolve a Marshall plan to tackle the problem of poverty in sub-Saharan Africa and prevent 9 million people in the region falling below the poverty line each year.

The organisation suggests writing off much of the region's external debt, which amounted to US $183 billion in 1992, a jump of $30 billion from 1989, when large-scale cancellations began.

Oxfam also calls for increasing aid flows; reform of structural adjustment programmes, and a fund to help Africa process commodity exports.