Leaders of G8 countries will meet in Canada on 25 June, with international development aid high on the agenda. Ahead of the summit, the G8 has issued the Muskoka Accountability Report outlining commitments met and not met, with mixed results.
At Gleneagles in 2005, donor members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) pledged to commit US$50 billion to overseas development aid by 2009. Thus far, they are $11 billion short.
Some donors are setting the pace: Canada and Germany pledged to double overseas development aid (ODA) between 2004 and 2010 and by 2009 had upped assistance by 54 and 59 percent respectively. But increases from the US, UK and France lag behind at 45 percent, Italy at 34 percent, and Japan just 6 percent.
Most donors fell short of targets to direct 0.51 percent of gross national income to overseas aid by 2010. The UK, which has steadily increased the proportion of its budget spent on aid over recent years, did achieve it, channelling 0.56 percent, but it is estimated that in 2010 the US will reach only O.2 percent; Italy 0.16 percent; Canada 0.3 percent; Germany 0.35 percent and France 0.47 percent.
While G8 donors promised to target their aid towards the most vulnerable, just 41 and 43 percent of Germany and France’s aid respectively goes to low-income countries versus 69 percent of Canada’s.
OECD donors promised to reach a $25 billion aid target for Africa by 2010, but have achieved less than half that, according to NGO Oxfam.
"Despite their best efforts to put a positive gloss on their progress, the G8 report shows clearly that the promise made in Gleneagles in 2005 to increase aid will be broken," said Oxfam spokesman Mark Fried. "The draft G8 communiqué conveniently ignores the commitment to increase aid by $50 billion, when it should have an emergency plan to fill the $20 billion shortfall over the next two years. These are not just numbers. They represent vital medicines, kids in school, help for women living in poverty and food for the hungry."
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