The G8’s Aid Report Card

Condemnation and commendation: G8 countries show mixed results in efforts to meet aid targets

20 May 2011 (1)

In 2005, the G8 and EU made a set of historic commitments to help sub-Saharan Africa meet the Millennium Development Goals.  As the G8 prepares to meet in Deauville, France on 26-27 May, we would like to share a report with you from ONE in the United States about how the G8 countries are doing on their commitments.

Here are the main findings of the 2011 DATA Report:

  1. Collectively the G7 delivered 61% of the increased aid they promised in 2005 to sub-Saharan Africa by 2010. The increases were largely a result of the UK making commendable progress towards its very ambitious target and the US, Japan and Canada surpassing their relatively modest targets. Italy’s performance is condemnable, falling far short of its promises to the world’s poorest people. France and Germany have also failed to meet their ambitious targets.
  2. The failure of the G8 to keep their promises deprived the world’s poorest people of $7bn in financing for effective and life-changing programmes in 2010 alone.
  3. Despite the overall shortfall, there have been historic increases in aid to sub-Saharan Africa since 2000, and especially since 2005 and the promises of the Gleneagles G8 Summit which was a response to the global Make Poverty History campaign.
  4. Much of this smart aid went towards programmes that are delivering real results in sub-Saharan Africa. Together with African efforts, aid has helped to avert the deaths of 750,000 children from malaria; allowed 46.5 million children to enroll in school for the first time; provided 4 million Africans with anti-AIDS drugs; and helped boost agricultural productivity by 50% in 17 African countries.
  5. Emerging economies such as Brazil, India, China and Russia have been steadily increasing their aid to sub-Saharan Africa in recent years, along with increased trade and investment with African countries.

20 May 2011 (2)

France, Germany and Italy “must urgently get back on track by setting out clear timetables to meet the promises they made to give 0.7% of their national incomes as overseas aid by 2015,” says ONE Executive Director Jamie Drummond. “At the same time, non-European G8 countries like the US, Canada and Japan should set new, ambitious commitments for aid to sub-Saharan Africa.”

However even if G8 donors meet all their existing and future promises on aid, much more money needs to be invested in developing countries if we are to reach the Millennium Development Goals and pull millions of people out of poverty.  Innovative financing measures — like a Robin Hood Tax and African diaspora bonds — need to be adopted.

“We welcome the momentum on innovative finance for development at the G20,” adds Mr. Drummond, “even though there are some questions over whether President Sarkozy’s new focus on this area is in part an attempt to divert attention away from France’s failure to meet its fair share of Europe’s aid targets. That is why we are calling for real and measurable progress to be made before the end of 2011.”


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