Pop superstar Madonna has been applauded by the Malawian government for her fundraising efforts for the country's AIDS orphans - and for raising the cause's profile.

Last week (ends16Nov07), the singer pledged to work with fashion house Gucci to raise at least $2 million (£1 million) for Malawi's one million orphans.

Madonna co-founded charity Raising Malawi - which focuses on trying to help Malawi's orphans, many of whose parents have died of AIDS - in 2006, and the singer will work with Gucci on a fundraiser on 6 February (08) to celebrate the opening of the brand's largest store in the world in New York.

Patricia Kaliati, the Malawian government's Information Minister, says, "What she is doing for orphans of this country very few super stars like her can do that, she has managed to put their plight on the world stage. "Madonna has built clinics in rural areas where government has failed to reach and because of that she has saved many lives of pregnant mothers who could have died."

The singer and her husband Guy Ritchie adopted tot David Banda from Malawi last year (06). The adoption process is still being finalised, with Madonna attending a hearing in the African country in April (08) before she can permanently adopt the child. (JC/WNWR/MT)

Copyright 2007 WENN

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