Wednesday, 18 June 2008

New DATA Report: Good results in Africa but G8 falls behind

The DATA Report 2008, released today by ONE, the global anti-poverty organization, shows the G8 are falling further behind on the commitment they made in 2005 to contribute an additional $22bn in assistance to Africa by 2010. According to The DATA Report 2008, the G8 are halfway to the 2010 deadline, but so far have only delivered $3bn, or 14%, of the $22bn commitment. If the G8 continue at their current pace, they will collectively fall far short of where they pledged to be by 2010. While the pace of delivery is deeply concerning, the good news is that the assistance that has been delivered is making a real, measurable difference on the ground in lives saved and futures brightened.

Because of recent increases in development assistance:
* 2.1 million Africans are on life-saving AIDS medication, up from only 50,000 in 2002,
* 26 million children were immunized and against a group of life-threatening diseases between 2001 and 2006,
* 29 million African children were able to enter school for the first time as a direct result of debt relief and increased assistance between 1999 and 2005,
* By 2007, 59 million bed nets had been distributed by the Global Fund alone, helping to dramatically reduce malaria rates in countries such as Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia.

These statistics make clear that there are no more excuses for not delivering quickly on what the G8 promised. The DATA Report lays out a clear roadmap for how the G8 can get on track to meet their 2010 goals by scaling up measures that have been proven to work. The report has been released today at a press conference in Paris led by Bono; Bob Geldof; Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS; TB and Malaria, singer and activist Angelique Kidjo; Arunma Oteh, Vice President, Corporate Services of the African Development Bank and French tennis star Yannick Noah.

According to the 2008 DATA Report, while the G8 as a whole are off track, some countries are doing better than others and, equally important, some made more substantial promises than others. The European members of the G8 – France, Germany, Italy and the UK – made the biggest promises to Africa as a percentage of their national wealth and together are responsible for 75% of the $22bn committed. While the scope of their commitments should be applauded, they are off track to meet them. Writing in his foreword, Archbishop Tutu says: "I am deeply worried that France, Germany and Italy are not going to keep the promises they made to Africa in 2005, because then all of Europe will be behind. President Sarkozy, Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Berlusconi need to hear more from their citizens on this subject if they are to make the right decisions, both for Europe and Africa."

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