Tuesday, April 03, 2007

UK puts in effort to meet G8 pledge

Source: Africa aid stalls despite G8 pledge - FT.com

At the G8 summit in 2005, The G8 committed earlier to double financial assistance to Africa and add some 50$bn a year to worldwide aid by 2010; half of that 50$bn was to go to sub-Saharan Africa, as agreed to in the pledges from the heads of the G8 individual governments.

Unfortunately, a recent report by the OECD has confirmed that aid to Africa (with an exception of Nigeria) remained the same in 2006; the OECD further said that the 2005 pledges will not become a reality unless a substantial rise in aid is seen in 2007 and 2008. Indeed, rather than rising, overall assistance fell by 1.8%.

While the UK’s aid contributions themselves have not slipped (indeed, they increased by 22%, making them the world’s second largest donor), the fact that Prime Minister Tony Blair spearheaded the 2005 commitment will mean that his legacy will be adversely affected if the rest of the G8 does not follow through.

The EU as a whole increased its aid spending by about 5.7%, while the U.S. and Japan’s outflow of aid fell drastically. However, no “clear and predictable” commitments were made in 2005 in order to avoid accountability, thus leaving African countries with no solid aid on which they could rely.


- Will EU countries continue to increase aid to cover the deficiencies in US and Japanese aid spending? Or will they follow the latter two countries’ lead and fall short of expectations?

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