Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Britain aims to press the other rich nations on aid in G-8 meeting

Britain has gone on record to say that they will not cut aid to the under-developed world despite the global economic recession. The International Development Secretary for Britain said they will also press the other rich nations to do the same during the G-8 meetings in Italy this week.

Britain is going to begin targeting their aid to several countries. They named the countries Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Nepal, Nigeria and Yemen will receive half of all of their aid budget.

From Reuters, we read more of Britain's goals for the G-8 meeting.

International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander said Britain was on track to raise foreign aid to the U.N. target of 0.7 percent of gross national income by 2013 but other countries were lagging behind their promises.

Britain will raise the matter at this week's G8 summit in Italy, he said.

"We will be looking to create the opportunity for countries which are off-track to make commitments that will bring them back on track," Alexander told journalists.

"It is not a surprise that the policies of the host will be closely scrutinised at the end of the week."

Aid groups have singled out Italy for criticism, with anti-poverty campaigner Bob Geldof grilling Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in a weekend interview, saying he had slashed, not raised, aid to Africa since 2005.

"I am sorry, we made a mistake," Berlusconi responded, saying Italy's debt mountain and the economic crisis had forced the cut.

At their 2005 summit the G8, which comprises the United States, Britain, Germany, Italy, France, Russia, Canada and Japan, promised to more than double aid to Africa by 2010 and to aim for the 0.7 percent target.

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