THE GLENEAGLES COMMITMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN DELIVERED IN FULL, BUT THE PAST FIVE YEARS HAVE RESULTED IN HISTORIC INCREASES IN DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE AND DEBT CANCELLATION FOR AFRICA
There are clear shortcomings on the part of individual donors and sectoral commitments that have not been delivered. However, donors collectively delivered an historic increase in development assistance for sub-Saharan Africa between 2005 and 2010. In fact, development assistance increased by $5.5 billion between 2000 and 2004, but the increase expected over the 2005–10 period is two and half times that amount and represents the largest increase to sub- Saharan Africa on record over any six year period. With 100% debt cancellation for qualified countries and an estimated $13.7 billion increase in development assistance, donors have supported African countries to make important strides in their own development agendas, such as scaling up access to life-saving antriretroviral drugs (ARVs) and sending 42 million more children to school.
THE G7 ARE ON TRACK TO DELIVER A $13.7 BILLION INCREASE, OR 61% OF THE DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE INCREASES PROMISED. THE PERFORMANCE OF OTHER COUNTRY GROUPINGS LAGS BEHIND
The G7 are on track to deliver 61% of their combined commitments to sub-Saharan Africa by 2010, with an expected delivery of $13.7 billion of the $22.6 billion increase promised. These figures are based on a projected increase of $3.8 billion from the G7 in 2010, an estimate that ONE derives from the most current budget documents as well as from discussions with G7 governments. By the end of 2009, the G7 had delivered a total of 44% of the total committed increases, with a total $9.9 billion increase over 2004 levels.
The G7 were not the only countries to make development assistance commitments around the time of Gleneagles. 2010 is a time to reflect on the performance of other country groupings as well.
- In total, donor countries (the 22 countries reporting development assistance data for 2009 to the OECD) pledged a total increase in development assistance to sub-Saharan Africa of $28.5 billion. ONE estimates that they will deliver $17.1 billion of that total by 2010 – representing 60% of the total commitment.
- If the G7 are excluded, non-G7 countries in total committed to increase development assistance to sub-Saharan Africa by $5.9 billion, and are on track to deliver $3.4 billion in additional assistance by 2010 – representing 57% of their total committed increases.
- Finally, the EU (including four G7 members) committed to increase development assistance for sub-Saharan Africa by $22.9 billion. ONE estimates that the EU will deliver an $8.6 billion increase by 2010 – representing only 38% of its total committed increases. However, it is critical to note that several members of the EU are consistent performers in terms of global ODA. Four in particular – Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Sweden – have met their target ODA/GNI ratios of 0.7%, in addition to Norway.
THE FINAL G7 ASSESSMENT SHOULD BE DETERMINED BY AMBITION, DELIVERY AND VISION BEYOND 2010
In the past, ONE has largely evaluated performance based on whether a country was 'on track' or 'off track' to deliver its 2010 total development assistance commitment. When reflecting upon the experience of the past five years, ONE believes that a robust assessment of donors’ Gleneagles commitments should evaluate performance along three balanced indices:
- THE COMMITMENT, which judges the ambition of the donor’s original promise in terms of volume and relative to the size of its economy;
- THE DELIVERY, based not just on what portion of the Gleneagles commitment will be delivered but on what the actual assistance delivered was between 2004 and 2010, both in volume terms and in terms of growth as a share of GNI;
- PLANS GOING FORWARD, which evaluates each donors’ action plans for its future partnership with Africa and whether targets are in place for the post-Gleneagles era.
The most important of these variables is overall delivery. The Development Assistance Report Card reflects an amalgamation of these factors in assessing individual performance.
Behind the 61% headline, the story is mixed. The US, Canada and Japan have delivered and surpassed their modest targets and the UK is on track to meet its much more ambitious target (although the data are inconclusive on how close it will come to full delivery in 2010). France and Germany both set ambitious targets but are only on course to deliver a quarter of them, while Italy exists in a category of its own as the only G8 country to have retreated on its commitments, actually cutting development assistance compared with 2004 levels and bringing the rest of the G7 average down with it.
EARLY PROGRESS ON DEBT MAY BE AT RISK; PROGRESS ON AID QUALITY HAS BEEN SLOW; AND PROGRESS ON TRADE AND INVESTMENT HAS BARELY STARTED
ON DEBT CANCELLATION, EARLY PROGRESS IS YIELDING TO A DETERIORATING SITUATION
Debt cancellation has resulted in significant gains for those countries able to invest savings into their people. The agreement to support 100% debt cancellation in Gleneagles was celebrated as development partners worked quickly to turn that commitment into action later in 2005 through the World Bank and IMF Fall meetings. However, not all donors (namely France, Italy, Japan and the US) have followed through with the financial commitments necessary to sustain the commitment. Further, despite increased debt cancellation, the number of countries with unsustainable debt burdens has fallen only moderately, as countries take on new lending and some donors (such as France) focus their ODA on loans rather than grants.
PROGRESS ON AID QUALITY HAS BEEN SLOW
Progress in implementing the Paris Declaration principles was reviewed in September 2008 at the Third High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Accra. The Forum concluded that, while significant advances had been achieved (particularly by recipient country governments), overall progress had not been sufficient and major acceleration of progress was needed to meet the goals of the Paris Declaration by 2010. Building on previous statements regarding implementation of Paris Declaration pledges, several G8 donors – Canada, Germany, Italy and the UK – prepared action plans in 2008 and 2009 to meet aid effectiveness commitments made at Accra. Many of these are being updated and strengthened this year. France, Japan and the US are either still developing such action plans or revising strategic frameworks that embrace effectiveness principles. While these documents include specific and time-bound goals to improve aid policies in order to achieve commitments made at Paris and Accra, data that can be used to evaluate progress over the past year are limited. The DAC Working Committee on Aid Effectiveness is to conduct another survey of performance, the results of which will indicate the degree of success of donors in meeting aid effectiveness targets by 2010. This survey, however, will not be published until 2011.
ON TRADE AND INVESTMENT, A VAGUE COMMITMENT HAS LITTLE TO SHOW
Little, if any, progress has been made in delivering any policy changes that help 'make trade work for Africa'. While aid for trade has increased over the years, it falls far short of the need. There has been some progress in terms of market access, but some products remain excluded and differences amongst programmes make them difficult to utilise. Further subsidy programmes have become entrenched. Momentum has all but vanished on the Doha Development Round. Things seem slightly more promising in terms of investment, with FDI to sub-Saharan Africa increasing nearly ten-fold from 2000 to 2008 (before a steep decline in 2009 due to the financial crisis) and anticipated capital increase for the African Development Bank, as well as new regional economic corridors taking shape. More must now be done to facilitate greater investment in the continent.
THOSE NEW RESOURCES THAT HAVE BEEN DELIVERED HAVE BEEN INVESTED ALONGSIDE AFRICAN RESOURCES TO YIELD SIGNIFICANT RESULTS
Since 2004, these historic increases in development assistance have helped achieve impressive results in targeted areas, especially when matched with investment and political will by African governments. Similar to the variations across donors’ ODA pledges, the success of the development goals established by the G8 at Gleneagles has often been driven by the quality of the commitment itself. In the areas where momentum has been high and the commitment from the G8 detailed and measurable, the gains for African countries have been enormous. For example:
Although African countries still have a long way to go in preventing the spread of HIV and in reaching the international target of universal access to prevention, care and treatment, the impact of increased investments to fight the disease in the past decade has been transformative. In sub-Saharan Africa, where experts once questioned if life-saving ARVs could even be delivered, nearly 3 million people in need are now receiving drugs, compared with only 100,000 in 2003.
The world has exceeded the Gleneagles goal of delivering 100 million bed-nets, with 200 million delivered between 2006 and 2009. In Ethiopia, Eritrea, Rwanda, Zanzibar and Zambia, where bed-net distribution has been matched with other interventions such as indoor spraying and effective anti-malaria drugs, cases and deaths due to malaria have fallen by 50%.
Investments in immunisation, treatment and prevention of malaria and other interventions have cut annual child deaths in half since 1960, from 20 million to 8.8 million. The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI) alone has averted 5.4 million future child deaths.
Thanks to savings from debt relief invested in education, development assistance, and scaled-up African government prioritization, 42 million more children have enrolled in school, and their completion rates are slowly improving. Nearly 75% of children are now enrolled in school across Africa, compared with only 58% in 1999, and Tanzania, Burkina Faso and Zambia have achieved enrolment above 90%. Benin, Madagascar and Zambia are on track to achieve universal primary education (UPE) by 2015.
All eight African countries that spent more than 10% of their budgets on agriculture during 2004–07 have achieved reductions in the proportion of hungry people over the past decade – among them Ethiopia (which reduced the proportion from 63% to 46% between 1995 and 2005) and Malawi (45% to 29%).
Progress on the vaguer Gleneagles commitments – such as prioritising investments in water and sanitation – has been less impressive. And although the G8 and other donor groups have repeated their promises on issues such as maternal health and health systems, targets remain vague and results have not yet been achieved.
ALTHOUGH THIS REPORT FOCUSES ONLY ON THE G8, IT IS CRITICAL THAT, GOING FORWARD, AFRICAN COUNTRIES FULFIL THEIR OWN COMMITMENTS TO DEVELOPMENT
The DATA Report focuses on the donor commitments to Africa, while acknowledging that several other tools exist to monitor progress made by African leaders themselves – namely the African Progress Panel (APP), African Monitor, the African Partnership Forum and the Mutual Review of Development Effectiveness by the UN Economic Commission for Africa. These organisations are monitoring the progress of African governments in delivering on their own commitments to their people, and evaluating the extent to which there is actual progress on the ground in terms of strengthening governance, fostering economic growth, mobilising domestic resources and investing in the MDGs. In the APP’s latest report, 'From Agenda to Action: Turning Resources into Results for People', there is a focus on the fact that, although there is tremendous natural wealth in Africa, resources are yet to be harnessed efficiently in order to promote sustainable and equitable development. Lasting, sustainable solutions to the fight against poverty will require African solutions, and these must be a much bigger part of the next phase. Africa’s people must be empowered – with improved sources of information, with transparency and the tools needed – to hold their governments accountable. Those governments must leverage all available tools, such as their mineral wealth and the strength of the private sector, to fight poverty.