Summit in Sight: The G8 in Africa from Gleneagles to Lough Erne

With the Government’s aid commitments under increasing scrutiny as we approach the Budget, a new report reveals that millions of lives have been saved and people lifted out of extreme poverty as a result of the bold pledges agreed at the G8 summit in Gleneagles eight years ago.

‘Summit in Sight: the G8 and Africa from Gleneagles to Lough Erne’, released by anti-poverty advocacy  group ONE,  gives the first overview of the impact of the ambitious package of support agreed by G8 leaders in 2005 to accelerate development in Africa.

The report highlights that a combination of African leadership, G8 support and millions of campaigners around the world, led to agreements on aid, debt cancellation, health and education which have had a direct, positive impact on the lives of some of the world’s poorest people.

It also warns now is not the time to walk away, when the elimination of extreme poverty could be a reality within a generation. ONE calls on the G8 to agree a radical package on transparency at Lough Erne in June, from governments as well as companies operating in Africa, so that citizens can get the information they need to hold their leaders to account.

Adrian Lovett, Europe Executive Director at ONE said:

“The world has changed beyond measure since 2005, not least financially, but this is a pivotal time for the G8 and potentially transformative issues are on the table for the world’s poorest.

“There have been huge strides forward since Gleneagles. The G8 must build on this with an agreement on transparency and tax that enables the poorest people in Africa to determine their own future, and must also inject vital momentum into the fight against hunger. Delivering a successful and ambitious G8 should be top of David Cameron’s to-do list.”

The report reveals that the G8 has increased aid to Africa by £7 billion annually and has helped deliver over £22 billion of debt relief. This has helped advance development in Africa, where since 2005:

–              child mortality has been cut by 18%

–              21 million more children are in school

–              5.4 million more people have access to HIV/AIDS treatment

But it’s not an entirely rosy picture. Shockingly, hunger in sub-Saharan Africa has not decreased since 2005 and talks on trade have all but stalled. ONE has joined forces with more than a hundred organisations in the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign to demand action, including a strengthening of G8 commitments on agriculture and nutrition this year.

Later this month, the Chancellor will make history if he confirms the UK will be the first G8 country to hit the UN’s 0.7% aid target, an important milestone along the road to ending the scandal of hunger of one in eight people in the world being malnourished. Other countries, including the 15 European Union countries that committed at Gleneagles to hit 0.7% by 2015, need to step up too.

Adrian Lovett continued:

“The UK now has the opportunity to lead the way on 0.7% and put pressure on other donors to keep their promises. It is not an accident that child mortality is down by 18% in Africa.  That is down to a partnership between African governments, donors and citizens that must be deepened and accelerated. Aid is just one part of the development puzzle, which is why it’s vital the G8 tackles issues like transparency.”

As well as tracking past commitments, the report sets out recommendations for the 2013 G8 Summit at Lough Erne, if it is to meet the Prime Minister’s promise to drive up prosperity around the world.  It calls for the G8 to:

–              Unleash a transparency revolution: the G8 should deliver a package of transparency reforms such as requiring all oil, gas and mining companies to publish the payments they make to governments around the world, and creating public registries to lift the veil of secrecy around company ownership.

–              Invest in agriculture and nutrition: the G8 must keep its Camp David promise to work alongside African governments and the private sector to help lift 50 million people out of poverty through agriculture

–              Turn the tide against chronic malnutrition: maximise momentum on this issue, following the UK’s Hunger Summit at the close of the Olympic Games in August 2012.

ENDS

For more information or interviews please contact Asha Tharoor on +44 7584 470 644 or [email protected]

Notes to editors:

  1. The full report: ‘Summit in Sight: the G8 and Africa from Gleneagles to Lough Erne’ is available at: https://s3.amazonaws.com/one.org/pdfs/summit_in_sight_report_en.pdf
  2. Enough Food for Everyone IF is a coalition of 100 organisations and counting which have joined together to campaign for action by the G8 on the issue of global hunger. The last time we worked together at this scale was for Make Poverty History. Now that the G8 group of world leaders are returning to the UK, we are demanding they take action on hunger. 2013 won’t be the end of hunger, but it could be the beginning of the end. Join us at www.enoughfoodif.org
  3. Co-founded by Bono and strictly non-partisan, ONE is more than three million people taking action to end extreme poverty … because we believe where you live shouldn’t determine whether you live.  Our members around the globe call, write, rally and raise their voices as ONE to push for progress – on global funding, expanded efforts to treat and stop the spread of AIDS and other preventable diseases, critical investments in agriculture and nutrition, and greater transparency.  And our teams in Washington, D.C., London, Johannesburg, Brussels, Berlin, and Paris educate, advocate, lobby and collaborate to shape solutions. Learn more at one.org.

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