Oxfam: US aid pledge positive, but more is needed
Today, President Bush announced additional aid for Africa: a proposed doubling of aid for the continent between 2004 and 2010, and specific commitments on education, malaria and women's justice and empowerment.
Chad Dobson, Oxfam America’s Policy Director, had this to say about the announcement: “President Bush's pledge today will mean an extra nine hundred million dollars each year for Africa and this is a welcome first step. However it is widely calculated that $25 billion is needed annually for Africa so we hope the announcement today is just the beginning of a much bigger US commitment to fighting poverty."
“Building on other US aid increases in recent years, this announcement creates the momentum that is needed as governments go into the G8 summit from July. The next step should be more money, and turning today’s commitment into budget plans to ensure that the money gets to people who urgently need it.”
Every dollar helps to fill the huge financing gap in the fight against malaria. The US was instrumental in the creation of the “Roll Back Malaria” initiative and the Global Fund to Fight HIV/ AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. However Oxfam is concerned that the funding mechanism announced today will bypass these existing arrangements and might undermine the effectiveness of national plans to fight this killer disease.
To get the one hundred million children who are currently unable to go to school into classrooms would cost $5.5 billion extra each year. Today’s announcement of $100 million per year falls well short of what is needed. Oxfam estimates that as part of the G8, the US should provide $1.8 billion per year to get all kids into school.
For further information please call Caroline Green on 1 202 321 7858 or Laura Rusu on 1 202 459 3739