Despite the promises made at the 2005 G8 meeting, aid to Africa has actually dropped since last year. Following the pattern of previous G8 summits, the bold promises made by world leaders under the media's spotlight seem to have been quietly abandoned once the TV cameras were turned off.
One of the main G8 goals was to double aid to Africa by 2010. A report published on 3rd April, by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), says that, barring large rises in aid during 2007 and 2008, the goal of doubling aid 'will not be credible'. For all the OECD's desire to soften the news and give European politicians a get-out clause, the report's authors must know that sudden huge rises in aid during 2007-8 are extremely unlikely. The por aid picture during 2006 therefore are a strong signal that the Gleneagles G8 summit's plans for Africa aid will not materialise.
This may come as a big surprise to those who took the platitudes of the G8 seriously. Celebrity development campaigner Bob Geldof famously gave the 2005 G8 'ten out of ten' on the topic of aid. During the 2005 summit Prime Minister Tony Blair and his heir apparent Gordon Brown both basked in media adulation, based on their apparent ability to sort out global poverty issues. News that their flagship anti-poverty initiative is sinking may well embarrass them – although it will almost certainly not get the media attention that their initial grandiose promises did.
1. Africa aid stalls despite G8 pledge, Fianancial Times, April 3, 2007