G8 "Late and Lite" on Africa, Says Oxfam

By Oxfam

G8 leaders have moved too slowly to meet their promises to Africa and the rest of the world’s poor. International agency Oxfam is calling on the leaders to do far more, far faster, and to put their progress on Africa and poverty at the top of the agenda in Germany in 2007.

G8 leaders spent an hour discussing progress on tackling poverty in Africa.

Irungu Houghton, Oxfam spokesperson, said:

‘In the hour the G8 leaders sit talking, poverty will kill 2,000 people. Their approach has been late and light. They must do far more, far faster.’

‘Africa and poverty are not take-it-or-leave-it issues. They must be at the top of the G8 agenda in Germany in 2007 and every year until we make poverty history.’

‘The G8 promises to Africa are an issue life and death. The G8 must not drag their feet. The world is watching and we will not look away.’

‘If the G8 leaders drag their feet on their promises to Africa, the 36 million who last year demanded action will not forgive them.’

‘The G8 leaders have delivered promised debt cancellation, but the aid and support to peacekeeping they promised is yet to arrive, and a deal on trade which benefits poor countries is further away than ever. The G8 must do more and do it now.’

In 2005, 36 million people in over 70 countries took action to demand that G8 leaders end poverty. Specifically they called for cancellation of debts owed by poor countries, increases in aid and a new deal on world trade that favours poor nations. Oxfam also called for action to end conflict and humanitarian crises in places such as Darfur and Northern Uganda.

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