Later in 2005, the US clarified that it committed to increase ODA to sub-Saharan Africa from $4.4 billion in 2004 to $8.8 billion in 2010.
Statement from head of state
‘The first four years of my administration, we doubled our assistance to Africa. At the G8 summit in 2005, I promised our assistance to Africa would double once again by 2010. I made a promise to the people. People expect us to deliver on that promise, and I expect Congress to help. We must not short change these efforts.’
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH 31 MAY 2007 SPEAKING AT THE UNITED STATES GLOBAL LEADERSHIP COUNCIL IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
‘As for America and the West, our commitment must be measured by more than just the dollars we spend. I've pledged substantial increases in our foreign assistance, which is in Africa's interests and America's interests. But the true sign of success is not whether we are a source of perpetual aid that helps people scrape by -- it's whether we are partners in building the capacity for transformational change.’
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA 11 JULY 2009 ACCRA, GHANA
In 2009, US development assistance to sub-Saharan Africa rose by 14% ($1.12 billion). With this increase, the US exceeded its Gleneagles commitment one year in advance of the target. In 2010, ONE estimates that the US will increase ODA to the region by an additional $1.6 billion, meaning that it will have delivered 158% ($5.384 billion) of the increases it promised at Gleneagles.
Despite its relatively smaller commitment in 2005, the US has made the largest ODA increases by volume to sub-Saharan Africa among the G8. Although it has already committed to double foreign assistance by 2015, this commitment is expected to be met relatively easily given US interests in both sub-Saharan Africa and strategic states. In the years ahead, the US should set a new ODA commitment (including an ambitious target for sub-Saharan Africa) as part of a comprehensive national strategy on global development.
The US remains a clear leader on global health programmes and has maintained a solid record on investments in agriculture. Recent appropriations and proposed budgets for other development sectors are likely to deliver higher ODA disbursements in the future. At present, the US remains below a proportionate share in some sectors, especially in education. It has also performed poorly on most aid effectiveness indicators measured in this report. As the Obama Administration moves forward on two new strategy and operational initiatives (one led by the White House and one by the State Department/USAID) there is hope that aid effectiveness will be improved. The US is also off track to meet its commitments to cancel debt to the world’s poorest countries, and like the rest of the G8 is failing to deliver on its commitment to 'make trade work for Africa'.
Despite small increases in ODA to sub-Saharan Africa during the two years following Gleneagles, the strong growth in 2008 and 2009 has pushed the US’s contributions higher than the pledge made in 2005. With a robust pipeline for 2010, the US is almost certainly positioned to go well beyond its commitment to double ODA to the region.
The commitments and policies made in the first year of the Obama Administration further reinforce the prospects that US development assistance to sub- Saharan Africa will continue to rise at least for several years beyond 2010. President Obama has said that he will double foreign aid by 2015 – a pledge that, if fulfilled, will begin to appear in ODA disbursements after 2010. How much of this increase will be directed to sub-Saharan Africa, however, remains uncertain. The region will certainly benefit from two new initiatives for global health and food security, but part of the doubling track for foreign aid assumes significant increases for development investments in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other strategic countries. An Administration clarification of what the ‘doubling of aid’ pledge means specifically for sub-Saharan Africa would be helpful.
A serious challenge to Administration proposals to increase US ODA globally and in sub-Saharan Africa will be its ability to convince Congress to support higher spending at a time of unprecedented budget deficits. At the same time that President Obama proposed to freeze most domestic spending for FY2011, he requested a $5.2 billion increase, or 15%, for US foreign assistance. Sub-Saharan Africa, however, would not be the principal beneficiary of these additional resources, with development assistance projected to grow by $470 million, or 6.7%.
If President Obama is able to build Congressional support for his health and food security initiatives, as well as support robust replenishments for several multilateral institutions, including the African Development Bank and the Global Fund, US ODA to sub-Saharan Africa should continue to grow beyond the timeframe of the Gleneagles pledge.
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