Friday, November 28, 2008

Western leaders will not attend next Doha aid meeting

Is it a stretch for me to say that this is another broken promise? Many western leaders including the heads of the IMF and World Bank have said they would not ignore the undeveloped world during the financial credit crisis.

Yet, an upcoming meeting on aid led by the United Nations will not have the heads of western countries there. As Reuters Amran Abocar reports that their absence means that not much is going to get accomplished.

The financial crisis, which has prompted vast government bailouts in Europe and the United States and raised the spectre of a deep global recession, seems to have dampened appetite for providing aid, angering developing countries and aid agencies.

"The lack of presence from heads of state does show that there's a lack of interest in rich countries to actually deal with this," said Sasja Bokkerink, head of Oxfam's delegation.

"All we can do this weekend is to give a loud cry to the world to say 'you should be here and you should be dealing with the problem of finding resources for development'," she said.

The meeting runs from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2 in Qatar's capital and is unrelated to the World Trade Organization's Doha round.

The only Western leader expected to attend is French President Nicolas Sarkozy. International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn and World Bank President Robert Zoellick cited scheduling conflicts.

The U.N. aid groups fear the financial crisis will curb political will to deliver development dollars while providing a reason for some states to renege on previous commitments as they fight economic downturn and rising unemployment at home.

1 comment:

Global Patriot said...

Sad indeed that our global leaders do not feel this issue is important enough for them to participate. The poorest, and by default, most hungry, will suffer greatly from this economic meltdown, and it will take years for this situation to be rectified.