Africa needs greater ambition from G8

Published: 1 November 2005

As world leaders prepare to travel to Scotland for the G8 summit, international agency Oxfam warned they must deliver on the promises they have already made, and strive for a greater level of ambition for Africa.

"Nelson Mandela said, 'sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great', and this weekend millions of people around the world answered his call,"

said Oxfam's Advocacy Director Jo Leadbeater. "The G8 leaders are in danger of falling far short of the greatness demanded of them."

"While the world is expecting a giant leap forward in the fight against poverty, G8 bureaucrats are wrangling over small steps. There's still a long way to go until that historic deal on aid and debt is done ? let alone vital action on trade".

Oxfam is concerned that even if the G8 agree to increase aid to Africa to $25 billion a year by 2010 and reconfirm debt cancellation for 14 African countries, this would:

  • Only increase aid to Africa by two per cent extra each year - by 13 per cent a year instead of the current rate of increase of 11 per cent.
  • Leave many African countries still spending more on debt than they do on health.

Oxfam and campaigners around the world are calling for an aid increase of $50bn annually for all poor countries - $25bn for Africa - but with immediate effect rather than in five years time. Fifty five million children would pay with their lives for a five year delay.

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