MDGS: Aid Quantity
The Make Poverty History promises made at the Gleneagles G8 Summit in 2005 remain largely unfulfilled.
Hopes were pinned on the summit at Heiligendamm in 2007, two years after Gleneagles, at which the G8 nations should have been able to demonstrate substantial progress towards meeting their Gleneagles targets.
The four EU member states – the UK, Germany, France and Italy – also needed to show progress towards meeting the EU aid target of 0.51 percent of gross national income (GNI) by 2010, a commitment that they and other EU member states made at the end of May 2005. But instead of advancing towards their 2010 and 2015 targets, the G8 nations as a group went backwards, with only the UK showing good progress.
The 22 member countries of the OECD Development Assistance Committee, the world’s major donors, provided US$103.9 billion in aid in 2006, down by 5.1 percent from 2005, in constant 2005 dollars.
This figure includes US$19.2 billion of debt relief, notably exceptional relief to Iraq and Nigeria. Excluding debt relief, other forms of aid fell by 1.8 percent. Sixteen of the DAC’s 22 member countries met the 2006 targets for ODA that they set at the 2002 Monterrey Conference on Financing for Development. Aid to sub-Saharan Africa, excluding debt relief, was static in 2007, leaving a challenge to meet the Gleneagles G8 summit commitment to double aid to Africa by 2010.
The Heiligendamm final communiqué reiterated the 2005 commitment to increase aid to Africa by 25 billion dollars a year by 2010, starting from a 2004 baseline. The G8 leaders, however, did not commit to an accountable timetable for delivering its 2005 promises to Africa.
This G8 aid promise for Africa means at best “just three billion U.S. dollars extra in aid by 2010. Before Heiligendamm, the G8 countries were going to miss their 2010 target on aid for Africa by 30 billion dollars. The promises of Heiligendamm could reduce that gap to 27 billion dollars.”
Education – The G8 did not make an explicit financial commitment to fill the external financing gaps of the Fast Track Initiative (FTI) endorsed countries. Instead, the communiqué stated that the G8 would work to “meet shortfalls” in the FTI endorsed countries, which the communiqué acknowledged to be US$500 million for the 31 endorsed countries. Of these 31 endorsed countries, 19 are in Africa and their external financing gaps collectively total US$367 million of the $500 million.
Health – The only significant aid announcement for Africa at Heiligendamm was a G8 commitment to provide a total of US$60 billion to fight AIDS, TB and malaria. This figure, however, is less significant than it seems.
Half of the US$60 billion will come from the US, which had previously announced a commitment to spend $30 billion between 2009-2013 to fight HIV/AIDS.
The US$60 billion commitment, therefore, will add at most US$2.4 billion in additional aid to Africa in 2010, and US$3 billion globally. If this additional US$2.4 billion came through in 2010, it would be almost 10 percent of the US$25 billion in additional aid for Africa promised by 2010.
This would be significant and welcome, but as the only noteworthy aid pledge to come out of Heiligendamm, it is not enough to put the G8 on track to deliver its overall aid promises to Africa.
RESOURCESAnnual Report 2010Strategic framework 2011-2015How Caritas works: Economic JusticeCSO development effectivenessEconomic justice on Caritas Blog