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G8 leaders reaffirm aid promise to Africa
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20:42, July 08, 2008

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Leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) countries on Tuesday reaffirmed their promise to increase official development aid (ODA) to Africa by 25 billion U.S. dollars annually by 2010.

"We are firmly committed to working to fulfill our commitments on ODA made at Gleneagles, and reaffirmed at Heiligendamm, including increasing -- compared to 2004 -- with other donors, ODA to Africa by 25 billion U.S. dollars a year by 2010," the G8 leaders said in a statement released after their working session in Japan's northern resort of Toyako.

The leaders admitted that ODA from G8 and other donors to Africa should be reassessed and may need to be increased for the period after 2010, beyond their current commitments.

"At the mid-point to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), although progress has been made, significant challenges remain," the statement said.

G8 leaders had promised at the 2005 Gleneagles summit to increase aid to developing countries by 50 billion U.S. dollars by2010, of which 25 billion U.S. dollars would go to Africa.

However, three years into the five-year promise, the G8 nations have delivered only 14 percent of the promised aid and, on current rends, were expected to fall 30 billion U.S. dollars short of the promised aid by 2010, said Oxfam, a non-governmental organization working to eradicate poverty internationally.

G8 aid to Africa has in fact been on a steady decline since 2006, according to Oxfam.

"Though the G8 communique reaffirms the Gleneagles commitment made three years ago, it offers no details on who will do what to reverse the steady decline in aid since 2006," said Oxfam.

The G8 were making "clumsy attempts to backtrack on their aid promises," said Oxfam spokesman Max Lawson.

"With two years to go to the 2010 deadline, G8 leaders now have to deliver the 50 billion U.S. dollars in new assistance they pledged at Gleneagles. The world takes these promises seriously even if the G8 leaders do not."

Source: Xinhua

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