According to new projections from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Africa will be badly hit by unfulfilled aid promises this year.
The OECD reports that the continent is likely to get only about US$12bn of the US$25bn annual aid increase envisaged at the Gleneagles Summit in 2005. The main culprits singled out as responsible for the deficit are France, Germany and Italy, whilst the UK, Scandinavian and Benelux countries are the top performers.
African countries have been buffeted by the global economic crisis and need smart, well-targeted aid more than ever. But the performance of Italy, France, and more recently Germany is undermining hard work by others. Yet the fact that some donor countries are honouring their commitments shows it can and must be done.
Over the past decade in Africa, effective aid and debt relief have helped put 42 million children into school and more than three million people onto AIDS treatment. Failure to scale up these programmes can be measured in lost opportunities for children and lost lives from diseases that are preventable and treatable.
The UK is among the group of good performers in the 2010 projections. It has surpassed the promise by EU countries to spend 0.51% of Gross National Income on development assistance by this year, and is keeping its commitment to Africa. The USA has greatly exceeded its more modest promise, whilst Canada has also met its pledge.
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