Friday, July 10, 2009

G-8 pledges $20 million for food security

Many expected a pledge of $15 billion, instead the G-8 surpassed that by pledging $20 billion dollars to fight hunger throughout the world. The $20 billion will come from the eight wealthy nations over the next 3 years. Italy will contribute 480 million, Japan and the European Union will each contribute $3 billion.

The G-8 is still trying to catch up from failing on previous pledges. Many analysts say that G-8 surpassed expectations on food security because they did not come up with an agreement on climate change.

More on the new pledges that we hope they keep from the Financial Times and reporter Guy Dinmore.

Management of the fund had not been finally decided but there would be close cooperation between the World Bank and the Rome-based UN food agencies, the minister said.

On the final day of the three-day G8 summit in L’Aquila, central Italy, leaders of the G8 club of rich countries were joined by heads of African governments and international institutions to finalise the multi-billion dollar food security fund for agriculture.

Barack Obama, US president, sat at the same dinner table on Thursday night with Muammer Gaddafi, Libya’s leader, invited to the summit by Italy in his role as head of the African Union.

US deputy national security advisor Denis McDonough told reporters that the US contribution to the fund would be about $3bn over three years. He said late on Thursday that pledges were still “bouncing around”.

Aid organisations will be carefully scrutinising the pledges to make sure that the funding represents new money and has not been stripped from existing budgets elsewhere. Also to be hammered out is what agency or agencies will administer the trust fund. The World Bank is a prime candidate.

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