Oxfam welcomes the German cabinet’s announcement today that it will use its G8 presidency in 2007 to continue the fight against poverty in Africa. Under Chancellor Angela Merkel’s leadership, the cabinet released an ambitious agenda to focus the world’s wealthiest nations on delivering plans that work for the world’s poor.
“Chancellor Merkel has shown real leadership by securing a prominent place for Africa on the G8 agenda. Millions of people in Germany and worldwide will be watching and expect the G8 to take action against African poverty. The summit in Heiligendamm must be more than a photo opportunity for the world’s poorest people,” said Joern Kalinski, policy advisor for Oxfam International.
At the Gleneagles summit in 2005, the G8 promised to increase aid by $50 billion annually by 2010. So far the G8 is behind in keeping these commitments. G8 governments must stop double counting debt cancellation as part of their aid budget and set firm timetables for delivering on their promises.
“At the current rate of progress aid is not rising nearly fast enough to meet the Gleneagles aid commitment to increase by $50 billion by 2010,” said Kalinski. “In the coming months, the G8 must make clear how and when they will deliver real aid increases and must bring their blueprints with them to Heiligendamm.”
The German cabinet said today that under the broad heading of “Growth and responsibility in Africa” the summit will specifically focus on economic growth, governance, energy and the environment.
“Within a generation, for the first time in history, every child in the world could be in school, every woman could give birth with proper health care, everyone could drink clean, safe water, and millions of new health workers and teachers could be saving lives and shaping minds. We should accept nothing less from the G8 leaders than concrete plans towards these goals,” said Kalinski.