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The G8 Summit One Year Later

It’s been a year since the G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland. At the summit, many promises were made and goals set for relieving debt and boosting development in sub-Saharan Africa. A new report’s been released on how well the G8 nations fulfilled those promises.

The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund or SCIAF is the official overseas aid agency for the Catholic Church in Scotland. Its report is entitled: “One Year on from Gleneagles – Time to Close the Gaps.” Chris Hegarty is advocacy manager for the group. From Glasgow, Scotland, he spoke to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about why the report was written.

“SCIAF is Scotland’s largest aid agency. And because the G8 meeting took place last year in Scotland, part of our supporters were involved in the campaign to pressurize the G8 leaders. And to some extent we felt we owed them of where we’d thought we’d got to in terms of progress and whether there are areas in which more progress should be made. It’s essentially to inform our supporters. And also to try to keep the pressure on the G8 leaders to deliver,” he says.

How did the G8 fare in keeping its promises? Hegarty says, “There were a lot of promises, not that many of them were particularly concrete. And I think what we’ve seen so far is that politicians are very keen to say the right thing when the pressure’s on, but when the pressure is less apparent then sometimes there tends to be tendency to slip away from those promises. So, I think it’s fair to say we’ve made some progress on one of our key asks (sic), which was to do with debt cancellation. I think there’s been some progress there. But in terms of our other two main points in terms of more and better aid and also fairer trade rules, then I think we’ve made limited progress on aid and virtually no progress, in fact arguably gone backwards, in terms of trade.”

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