In June, G8 leaders will hold their annual summit. This year it will be in Germany and is expected to place African issues high on the agenda. However, a coalition of groups called the “Make Poverty History “ campaign says the G8 has failed to fulfill many of the promises it made two years ago at the Gleneagles Summit in Scotland.
Romilly Greenhill is a researcher with the ngo ActionAid. From London, she told VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua that new figures from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development show aid to poor countries has actually dropped.
“These latest aid figures that the OECD has just released are a real disappointment. And they’ll be a particular disappointment for the people in the world’s poorest countries. What they show is that aid from the G8 has actually fallen between 2005 and 2006. Every single country apart from the UK and Germany has seen reductions in aid if we discount debt relief…and what those figures show is that if we strip out debt relief aid from G7 countries aid has actually fallen by five percent since the Gleneagles Summit,” she says.
Asked whether it’s realistic to think promises of two years ago would be fulfilled so soon, Greenhill says, “The promises that were made were for 2010. So the G8 do have some time to get back on track. They committed another $50 billion worth of aid by 2010. So, hope is not yet lost. They do have that opportunity to get back on track, but they’re going to have to act really, really quickly if they’re going to meet those targets.”
She says the priorities for the G8 summit in Germany include boosting aid for AIDS treatment, trade justice, education and plans to address climate change.