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Oxfam calls on G8 to make good on promised aid to Africa
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15:35, July 07, 2008

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The Group of Eight (G8) will miss its pledge at the Gleneagles summit to double aid to Africa as it has delivered only a small part of the promised aid more than halfway through the plan, the British charity Oxfam said on Monday.

The G8 and the European Union had promised at the Gleneagles summit in 2005 to increase aid to developing countries by 50 billion U.S. dollars by 2010, of which 25 billion U.S. dollars will go to Africa.

The G8 has delivered only 14 percent of its promised aid to Africa three years into the five-year promise, Oxfam policy adviser Max Lawson said in Toyako, Hokkaido, where the G8 leaders are meeting Monday through Wednesday.

Germany, the United States and Britain have been following through on their promises, with Britain and Germany increasing the aid recently, Lawson said.

Lawson said overall the G8 were only delivering 14 percent of their promised aid to Africa so far, which left them having to deliver the rest 86 percent within the coming three years to fulfill their promises of doubling the aid to Africa by 2010.

Italy and Canada were "blocking G8 progress" on aid to Africa, while "the jury was still out" on the progress of Japan and France, Oxfam said in an outline statement.

"We are worried. We are very worried that the aid promises would be watered down and that some of the key promises left out," Lawson said of the prospect for progresses.

Lawson said incredible progresses have been made in Africa in the past two or three years with even only the modest aid from the world's richest countries, citing the example of child mortality in Ruwanda dropping by two-thirds in just three years.

"It's absolutely incredible. And that only makes the big number worse, which is why they need to take quick actions," Lawson aid.

The next 20 hours could be important as leaders of G8 countries were expected to meet with African leaders in an outreach session on Monday and the bright side was that the G8 leaders would not want to be presiding over a meeting of shame, he added.

Source: Xinhua

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