G8 Off Track On Aid Commitments To Africa; France, Italy Responsible For 80% Of Shortfall, Report Says

The Group of Eight (G8) industrial nations are “collectively off course in delivering on a 2005 pact to more than double aid to Africa through 2010,” according to an annual report released Thursday by the One Campaign, Reuters/Washington Post reports (Wroughton, Reuters/Washington Post, 6/11).

“One said the world’s richest countries had delivered only a third of the extra aid they promised by 2010, despite being two-thirds of the way to their deadline,” according to AFP/Google.com. Italy and France are responsible for 80 percent of the shortfall, according to the report. On the other hand, Canada, Japan and the U.S. were meeting their aid commitments, while Britain and Germany were pushing hard to meet more ambitious targets, the report found.

One’s 2009 DATA report was released just a day before G8 finance ministers are scheduled for a two-day meeting in Italy, AFP/Google.com reports (AFP/Google.com, 6/11). The report tracks the progress of the G8’s 2005 promises made during a meeting at Gleneagles, Scotland, the Mail & Guardian reports (Mail & Guardian, 6/11).

According to the report, it will be “challenging” for G8 nations to “get back on track to keep their commitments” because of how “far some G8 countries have drifted from their promises” (Reuters/Washington Post, 6/11). Al Jazeera reports that France’s development assistance to Africa “took a dive” between 2007 and 2008, and the country has “delivered only seven percent of what it promised at Gleneagles.” Italy has so far delivered “only three percent of what it promised and has cut aid to Africa since the 2005 summit.” To meet their commitments, G8 countries must deliver on average an additional $7.2 billion in both 2009 and 2010 (Al Jazeera, 6/11).