Increased debt relief and AIDS efforts urged

British Prime Minister Tony Blair's 'Commission for Africa' is expected to release a report calling for increased aid, debt relief and strengthened HIV/AIDS efforts on the continent.

The commission, established by Blair in 2004, said wealthy nations must cooperate and focus on the priorities in the report, if the plan is to succeed.

The Associated Press quoted the commission's US representative, former senator Nancy Kassebaum Baker, as saying, "There is a road map here: we can make priorities of what we can accomplish, and do it right. We are not going to solve this overnight - the key is whether there is going to be a willingness to stick with it."

The 400-page final report, to be published on Friday, calls for an "immediate doubling" of annual international aid to Africa, to $50 billion, with the recommendation that $10 billion of the increased aid be used to fight HIV/AIDS over the next five years.