G8 countries fail to meet commitments to Africa: NGOs
The Group of Eight (G8) countries failed to fulfill the commitments they made to Africa one year ago at the Gleneagles summit in Scotland, leading African and international non-governmental organizations said in Banjul yesterday at a joint press conference.
Four organizations, working in over two thirds of Africa and having been monitoring the implementation of the commitments, reviewed the progress of the commitments ahead of the African Union (AU) summit to be held here on July 1 and 2.
Irungu Houghton, Pan-Africa Policy Advisor with Oxfam GB, said that "while the G8 leaders continue to congratulate themselves on their own pledges, one mother dies every minute and a child dies needlessly every three seconds due to the lack of serious delivery of those promises."
"Debt continues to tear down schools, clinics and hospitals in a way that is more devastating than war," said Charles Mutasa, executive director of African Forum and Network on Debt and Development, the Education for All Campaign Network of The Gambia and Oxfam.
According to Amboka Wameyo, Africa Advocacy Advisor of World Vision, "if the G8 leaders meeting this year do not live up to Gleneagles pledges, 15 million children affected by HIV/AIDS will have no hope of surviving beyond the age of 18."
She added that "the G8 countries have failed to meet their commitments made to Africa last year."
Matarr Baldeh, coordinator of the Education for All Campaign Network in The Gambia, urged the AU to make education high on its agenda and all AU members to take action on education, saying that "civil organizations have done a lot of advocacy on these commitments, now it is time for action."
The G8 leaders agree on Gleneagles summit last year to cancel the debts owed by 35 of the world's poorest countries to the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and African Development Fund. They also promised to increase aid to poor countries by US$50 billion by 2010, with half of this going to Africa. They promised increases in humanitarian aid and support to peacekeeping and arms control, and they indicated their desire to see a world trade deal that favors poor nations.