NGOs: concrete money to help Africa

Updated: 2007-06-07 04:55

International non-governmental organizations (NGO) on Wednesday called for the leaders of the G8 leading industrialized nations to make concrete commitments to assist development in Africa.

"What we need to see from the G8 is money, not just another bland communique telling us HIV/AIDS is important," said Max Lawson, a senior policy advisor at Oxfam International.

"Germany putting this on the agenda was a real opportunity, but squabbling and backtracking may squander that," he said.

According to Oxfam, at least 21 billion more U.S. dollars are needed to address the shortage of 4.25 million health workers and inadequate health services in the developing world, especially in Africa.

ActionAid, another NGO, said the G8 fell short of their aid commitments by 8 billion U.S. dollars in 2006 alone.

Colins Magalasi, ActionAid's head of policy for Southern Africa, said "the G8's talk of a contract with Africa rings hollow when they are reneging on their most basic pledge."

"Failure to keep their promise...will translate into millions of people being denied education, healthcare and clean water," he said.

The leaders of the G8 nations agreed two years ago to raise the development aid for Africa by 50 billion U.S. dollars by 2010, but critics say those nations fall long short of delivering their promises.

German chancellor Angela Merkel, hoping the G8 summit could mark a new boost in the aid package for Africa, announced that Germany would increase its aid by 3 billion euros between 2008 and 2011.

However, the G8 nations remain divided over what promises can be made during the summit over the development assistance in Africa.

The leaders of the G8 nations have kicked off their annual summit on Wednesday near the northern German Baltic resort of Heiligendamm.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country holds the rotating G8 presidency, welcomed other G8 leaders with an informal dinner in a 14th-century palace on the Hohen Luckow estate, some 25 km south-east of the summit venue in Heiligendamm.

Top World News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours