G8 Decisions, Though Welcome, Fall Short of Hoped-for Outcome

By Oxfam

"The G8 leaders have recognized today that this is the beginning, not the end, of their efforts to overcome poverty. The world's richest nations have delivered welcome progress for the world's poorest people, but the outcome here in Gleneagles has fallen short of the hopes of the millions around the world campaigning for a momentous breakthrough."

Aid: The G8 leaders have announced they will increase aid by an extra $50 billion by 2010. "The G8's aid increase could save the lives of five million children by 2010—but 50 million children's lives will still be lost because the G8 didn't go as far as they should have done."

"If the $50 billion increase had kicked in immediately, it could have lifted 300 million people out of poverty in the next five years."

Debt: The G8 leaders have confirmed their finance ministers' agreement on debt cancellation, and the Paris Club deal to tackle Nigeria's debt. However, they have not gone further to include more desperately poor countries such as Sri Lanka, Kenya, and Vietnam.

Trade: "G8 leaders had the opportunity today to kick-start stalled global trade talks. While there has been some progress, the outcome falls short of what they could have done.

"It is welcome that the G8 leaders have confirmed that poor countries must be allowed to set their own trade policies. Sadly, they stopped short of setting an end date for scrapping their damaging agricultural export subsidies.

"There is an enormous amount to do before the next WTO Ministerial in Hong Kong at the end of the year if people in poor countries are to be given a fair chance to work their way out of poverty."

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