In 2005 at the Gleneagles Summit, the G8 made a host of historic promises to Africa, including doubling development assistance by 2010, promoting increased trade and investment, cancelling debt, improving health, and achieving universal primary education by 2015.
Today in London, ONE released the 2009 DATA Report, its annual in-depth look at how the G8 are progressing towards these targets. This year’s report is divided into four parts: aid quality and quantity, trade and investment, debt cancellation and investing in people (a look at the progress made in the health, education, agriculture and water and sanitation sectors). What does this year’s report reveal? Here’s a look at a few key findings.
By 2008, the G8 had delivered only a third of their commitment—just $7 billion of the total $21.5 billion increases promised to Africa by 2010. Some countries fared better than others: the US, Canada and Japan are meeting or beating modest targets; Germany and the UK are striving to meet their more ambitious commitments. France’s delivery is disappointing, and Italy—the host of the upcoming G8 Summit—has utterly failed to make progress on its promised aid.
Looking ahead to 2009, ONE estimates that the G8 will have delivered only a half of their commitment. 80% of the 2009 shortfall will be due to France and Italy. That means that in 2010, the G8 must deliver the entire other half to reach their target.
In 2008, the G8 met in Accra to review progress on improving aid effectiveness. While the forum helped accelerate progress towards achieving better aid, more must be done to reach the 2010 goals.
The steps taken by the G8 since 2005 have brought them close to fulfilling their commitments on debt. At the end of 2008, Africa had been relieved of $92.8 billion of its debt obligations.
But the global financial crisis threatens to overturn these advances. Among the 20 African countries that reached ‘completion point’ in the debt cancellation process, 11 now face a risk of debt distress through reaccumulation of debt.
The G8 are not living up to their promise to “make trade work for Africa.” Despite an increase in exports, Africa accounts for only 3.5% of global trade—the lowest share of any region in the world.
Making trade work for Africa will require a combination of: increased access to developed country markets; reduced agricultural subsidies; improved aid for trade; stronger regional integration; and more policy space.
Investing in People: Health, Education, Agriculture and Water
When the G8 made their 2005 commitment to double ODA to Africa by 2010, they also promised to make sure that this aid would meet specific development outcomes in health, education, water and agriculture.
Progress has been made on some of these goals, including getting children into primary school, supporting AIDS treatment for those who need it, and distributing bed nets to protect mothers and children from malaria.
Progress towards other outcomes has been rather slow, such as increasing access to improved drinking water and sanitation and increasing agricultural productivity. Greater details on all of these investments can be found in the full DATA Report.
The findings above are just a small sampling of the information you’ll find in the 2009 DATA Report. To view the full report online, please click here.
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