Stars including Bono, Sir Paul McCartney and Scarlett Johansson have united to promote a year-long charity campaign aimed at wiping out world debt.

The Make Poverty History drive calls on political leaders across the world to cancel the money owed to them by impoverished countries and provide better aid packages for the poor and suffering.

Charities, unions and faith groups have also lent their support to the cause.

Travis frontman Fran Healy insists 2005 is the year in which action needs to be taken: "No-one can be oblivious or ignorant to the plight of the poor, nor to the responsibility our governments have as architects of their poverty.

"We must take this opportunity in 2005 to make poverty history once and for all."

Busted and Jamelia are among the other artists backing the cause.

04/01/2005 08:59