"After slow start, faster pace needed or G8 Africa targets will be missed." - DATA provides road map with specific sums each country must contribute next year to get back on track
Last year, Live 8 helped build one of the largest civil movements in history. Millions lobbied the G8 to make poverty history, and the G8 leaders responded by announcing an ambitious plan to accelerate Africa's economic development and help save millions of lives. One year on, a report by DATA (Debt AIDS Trade Africa) has found that G8 progress on meeting those commitments is painfully slow, proceeding at best at half-pace. The DATA Report, published 29 June 2006, for the first time, will monitor G8 progress annually until the promises made at Gleneagles are kept. It is not only a report card on 2005, but a road map forward to 2007 and beyond to 2010.
Jamie Drummond, Executive Director of DATA: "The G8 strode forward down the promised path on debt, but have shuffled with a halting half-pace on aid, while falling backwards on trade. The campaigners around the world who got the G8 close to the right path in the first place must now encourage them to accelerate down it. After a slow start in 2005 a faster pace is now needed or the G8 Africa targets will be missed." "This debt-aid-trade package of policy promises isn't a menu to pick and choose from; it’s a trinity that must be delivered together or no one goes as far. Debt cancellation needs assistance needs trade if we are to truly help Africa beat AIDS and extreme poverty. "Above all, this report shows that G8 assistance is saving lives in Africa at a faster rate than before, which would make any slackening off the pace even more inexplicable and inexcusable. This stuff works. Campaigning works, aid works, so let's do more of it. The DATA Report offers a map from St Petersburg to the G8 summit in Heiligendamm, and beyond to the 2010 deadline and the World Cup in South Africa."
There is good news on debt cancellation - the G8 are on track to meet their commitments. 19 of the world’s poorest countries, 14 of them in Africa, have already had their multilateral debts cancelled with immediate and tangible benefits with a total of 44 ultimately eligible. Debt relief is already making a difference. In Zambia, user fees have been abolished for basic healthcare and the newly freed up resources are being used to pay thousands more doctors, nurses and teachers. In Tanzania, money is being used to import free or heavily subsidised food for 3.7 million people at risk of hunger due to drought.
On getting a world trade deal that is good for African development, the G8 are not just off track – they’ve stepped backwards. The Doha development round of negotiations are on the verge of complete collapse. Ministerial talks beginning today in Geneva rekindle hopes of a pro-poor deal, but to date there has been a paucity of political ambition, no sense of urgency and no focus on Africa to the round so far.
Development assistance Edit
The picture presented by donors through their own aid reporting is incredibly murky - routine inflation of the figures by counting debt relief makes it hard for the true trend to be identified. Figures uncovered by DATA suggest the G8 spent an extra $1.6 billion on Africa in 2005, while to be on track to meet their 2010 commitments, they must collectively increase development assistance to Africa by $3.9 billion (£2.14b) in 2006, and each year thereafter. To be on track, all donors - G8 and non-G8 combined - must increase their aid to Africa by $5 billion a year for the next 5 years. France is the only G8 country on track to meet 2010 development assistance goals (although opaque reporting systems mean that it is unclear how much of this is non- Nigerian debt relief or real aid flows). The USA, United Kingdom and Italy increased aid to Africa in 2005 but need to do more, while Germany flatlined and Canada actually decreased aid to Africa in 2005. Data on Japanese aid to Africa in 2005 was not available.
There have been significant increases in the number of people in Africa receiving AIDS treatment, up from 100,000 in 2003 to 810,000 by the end of 2005. However, keeping the G8 pledge of near-universal access to treatment by 2010 will require doubling the rate of uptake from 355,000 to 638,000 more per year. Donors are currently spending only half of what is needed to achieve this, and there is not nearly enough emphasis on prevention. Donors must quickly scale up both bilateral and multilateral support – particularly for the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria – to meet this critical need. This can be remedied at the Durban replenishment conference July 4-5 and the 16th International AIDS Conference in Toronto in August. Missing the Gleneagles targets would mean that 1.4 million people in Africa will not receive treatment in 2010.
Country assessments Edit
Germany’s development assistance to Africa fell by $1 million in 2005. Germany is also a relatively low contributor to the fight against AIDS. Germany must increase development assistance to Africa by $660 million in 2006 in order to get back on track. This is a tough challenge, but Germany’s new Chancellor and government can also provide a new start for the relationship between Germany and Africa. Germany’s role will be all the more critical because as President of the EU and Chair of the G8 in 2007, the world’s attention will be on Chancellor Merkel to see if she can steer the rich world towards keeping its promise to Africa in 2006. DATA welcomed Chancellor Merkel’s recent recommittment to raise German overseas development aid to 0.51% of GDP by 2010 and 0.7% by 2015. One great way in which Germany could save a lot of money would be to support reform of the Common Agricultural Policy which currently sucks about ..2.6 million out of Germany every year. In Germany DATA supports the Deine Stimme Gegen Armut Campaign (www.deinestimme- gegen-armut.de) "Chancellor Merkel now owns the historic promise Germany has made to the world poor, and we understand she needs time to work out a gameplan to keep this promise, but time is ticking away. We are already less than a year from the summit in Germany where the G8 - and above all Germany - must clearly be back on track for keeping this promise."
United Kingdom Edit
Britain’s development assistance to Africa increased by $211 million in 2005. This is off track to meet the United Kingdom’s Gleneagles commitments. The government does deserve real credit for its efforts to launch the International Finance Facility for immunization, for its leadership on debt and in the fight against AIDS, and also for its recent announcement of a long-term commitment to education. DATA’s immediate challenge to the British government is to increase development assistance to Africa by $778 million in 2006, which should be achievable given the strength of recent announcements. DATA’s long term challenge to Britain is that, given the lack of progress being made collectively by the G8 towards the $25 billion goal for Africa and given that this commitment is very much owned by the British government and the British people, that Britain should increase its own contribution to this target by bringing forward the date by which the 0.7% development assistance target will be met from 2013 to 2010. DATA strongly welcomes the recent announcement by Prime Minister Tony Blair of a high level Africa Progress Panel to hold the G8 accountable to their promises, as recommended by the Commission for Africa. "The UK led the G8 last year into promise making and we hope it will lead in promise keeping. Last year’s numbers were below par but in the pipeline there are sums which should more than make up for the shortfall in 2006 and beyond. Indeed the appetite in government and in the general public allows the British government to go further, and we hope they will."
The USA increased development assistance to Africa by $480 million in 2005. This is off track from the ramp up needed to reach a doubling of US assistance to Africa. The USA would need to increase development assistance to Africa by $720 million in 2006 in order to meet its Gleneagles commitment. For the last several years, President Bush has requested from Congress large increases in development assistance that would keep the U.S. on track. These requests have consistently been cut back, putting the President’s pledge in jeopardy. This goal requires consistent, high-level support from the Administration, and the voice of the American public to be achieved. DATA supports the ONE Campaign (www.one.org) that advocates a one-percent increase in US federal spending to beat AIDS and extreme poverty, as well as debt relief and fair trade policy. The U.S. deserves credit for helping to lead a multilateral agreement on debt cancellation. "America has been a surprising leader though relative to its economic size it could do more for Africa’s poor. It’s essential that Congress fully funds the President’s request for fighting AIDS and extreme poverty and on the funding for the Global Fund, goes further. "
France deserves praise for its increased development assistance to Africa and is the only nation on track for its 2010 goal, although a significant portion of the increase may be accounted for by debt relief (murky accounting makes it impossible to tell at this stage which aid figures are inflated by non-Nigerian debt relief). France also deserves credit for leadership on the air ticket levy to buy AIDS drugs. In order to stay on track, France should increase its development assistance to Africa by $269 million in 2006. While France has a strong record on aid and health, the government is the biggest block on reform of agricultural subsidies and hence the main obstacle to successful conclusion of the Doha development round. These subsidies go mainly to large agribusiness not small farmers. "France is leading the pack in backing the aid promise to Africa, and plainly President Chirac cares about the fate of Africa. That’s why it is also important there be movement on trade from him and his administration this week."
Italy’s increase in development assistance to Africa of $26 million in 2005 was way off track to meet it Gleneagles commitments. Like Germany, the challenge facing Italy is tough for an economy in difficulty. Italy must increase development assistance to Africa by $861 million in 2006 to stay on track. Italy is also under new leadership and we call on Prime Minister Prodi to work closely with the Italian Parliament and people to keep Italy’s historic promise. "President Prodi cares about these issues as do ordinary Italians, but the nation’s finances are so tight which is why its so right for Italy to explore innovative financing mechanisms. These need to be explored and implemented aggressively."
Canada’s development assistance to Africa fell in 2005 by $10 million. They are off track to meet their commitments. Canadian NGOs are confident however that data on fiscal year 2005/06 will be stronger with aid to Africa continuing on an upwards trend. The immediate target for Canada is to increase development assistance to Africa by $144 million in 2006. Canada is a country with new leadership and the potential for an expanded focus on fighting poverty in Africa. During the election campaign, Prime Minister Harper said he would improve upon the country’s G8 promise and increase aid globally to the OECD average by 2010. The Prime Minister should now spell out how this will be achieved. DATA supports the Make Poverty History campaign (makepovertyhistory.ca) in Canada which is calling on the government to set a clear timeline by which the global 0.7% target will be met. "We trust Canadian aid is rising faster than the official figures show, and it needs to in order for Prime Minister Martin’s promise to be kept. Prime Minister Harper seems to have promised more, but we’d love to see the meat in his money pledge."
Japan is the only G8 country for which development assistance figures for Africa in 2005 were not made available. The first big challenge to Japan is therefore to develop and publish much clearer and more transparent measurement of its own development assistance efforts to Africa. At the Global Fund replenishment conference next week, Japan should clarify the timeframe and distribution of its $500 million commitment. We also urge the Japanese government to start thinking about an Africa agenda for the 2008 G8 summit. "Japan may feel far from Africa, but their neighbours in China don’t feel that way. The Japanese promise in Gleneagles was significant, if followed through, and Japan can build on its history of strong support for infrastructure and fighting communicable diseases to do more for Africa in the build up to the G8 Summit in Japan in 2008."
Related topics Edit
- The DATA Report 2006 press release, 29 June 2006