When the leaders of the world's wealthiest nations meet at the G-8
summit in Italy next week, one topic on their agenda will be the fight
against poverty in Africa. The G-8 nations have provided development
assistance to African countries in recent years, but some aid groups
are calling for the world's leaders to do more.
The annual G-8 summit brings
together the leaders of the eight most powerful nations in the world.
It is a chance for leaders to discuss solutions to global problems.
Aid groups are hopeful the G-8 leaders this year will decide to
increase development aid to Africa.
Meredith Alexander is with
the anti-poverty group Action Aid in London. She says the G-8 has the
opportunity to help struggling African nations.
expects that roughly $50 billion will be lost for Africa this year as a
result of the recession," said Alexander. "Then things like climate
change, the growing crisis of hunger, older issues like AIDS and
education. All of these things are problems for Africa, and it's great
to see the G-8 taking these issues seriously."
Action Aid hopes
African agriculture will be one area that will receive an increase of
aid from the G-8. Alexander says helping small holder farmers in
Africa could reduce hunger. But she says the G-8 has a history of
making empty promises.
"We think the G-8 leaders should really
be putting their money where their mouth is and that responsibility is
first and foremost to the host, Italy," she said.
But a recent
report released by the international aid organization One, says the
upcoming summit host, Italy, is not pulling its weight.
group says Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has "utterly
failed" to maintain the assistance to Africa promised at a summit in
"You want a chair that will really hold people's feet to
the fire and make sure promises are kept, and he's not in a credible
position to do that at the moment," said Europe Director, Oliver Buston.
group says it is hopeful other foreign leaders will put pressure on
Italy to reverse its spending cuts and do more to develop African
"It's a basic thing about keeping promises," said Buston. "We know when this aid money is used effectively it can
achieve great results. These G-8 countries have made promises to the
poorest people on the planet. They've got to keep them."
says African countries have only received one third of the aid promised
by the G-8 in 2005. But it and other advocacy groups hope leaders at
this year's summit will be aware of the need to do more.