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The ONE Campaign reacts to G7 Summit: ‘Elmau’s legacy must be more than a castle in the air’

As the G7 Summit concluded today, leaders agreed to work for an end to extreme poverty and hunger by 2030. Governments from the world’s richest countries signed up to initiatives to empower girls and women, reduce the number of people living in hunger and malnutrition by 500 million, and learn the lessons of Ebola in order to respond faster to disease epidemics. They also committed to reverse the decline in aid to the least developed countries and reconfirmed existing commitments including EU countries allocating 0.7% of national income to aid.

Adrian Lovett, Europe Executive Director of The ONE Campaign, said: “These G7 leaders have signed up to an historic ambition demanded by millions of citizens around the world – to be part of the generation that ends extreme poverty and hunger by 2030.  But Elmau’s legacy must be more than a castle in the air. We need these plans to be built on strong foundations – and first and foremost, that means funding. 

“In 35 days, leaders from the G7 will meet their counterparts from around the world in Addis Ababa.  There they must play their part in ensuring the fight to meet the basic needs of people everywhere is fully and transparently financed.  It is a good step that G7 members have affirmed the 0.7% aid target and acknowledged that the least developed countries need more support. But that is not enough.  At least half of aid should go to these countries, and the G7 should firmly commit to that target in Addis and put the poorest first. 

“Investments to address the consequences of a changing climate are important and welcome and should be additional to resources to fight poverty.  Climate change hits the most vulnerable first and hardest by exacerbating existing vulnerabilities and reducing resilience to external shocks.  So the needs of the world’s poorest must come first, with action on climate change matched by action on extreme poverty.”

The ONE Campaign’s detailed response to the 2015 G7 outcome

Official Development Assistance

It’s the first time ever that the target to deliver 0.7% of national income in aid that binds several countries is mentioned in the main communiqué (and the first reference in any G7/G8 document since 2005). This is a welcome signal a month before Addis. However, the objective needs a credible and ambitious timeline, ideally with a deadline of 2020.

ODA to the least developed countries such as Mali and Tanzania has been on the decline since 2010. The acknowledgment from the G7 that this trend needs to be reversed is welcome. We are disappointed that they have not yet joining developing countries and others such as Belgium and Ireland in backing a concrete target: at least 50% of aid should be allocated to countries such as Liberia or Mali, at the latest by 2020. Today, only 30% of global aid goes to the poorest countries, which is unacceptable in the light of the extreme poverty in these countries.

Climate funding

ONE welcomes the confirmation of the G7 to mobilizing jointly with other partners USD 100 billion. Leaders must ensure that in delivering the 100 bn committed, the very poorest countries are prioritized. We are concerned by the fact that the G7 does not mention the internationally agreed principle that this funding be new and additional to ODA commitments.

Hunger and malnutrition

If the G7 delivers on its promise to enable 500 million people to free themselves from hunger and malnutrition by 2030, they will have made a strong contribution to the end of hunger. This is likely to be one of the new ‘global goals’ and we are encouraged that Schloss Elmau has given it early momentum. While the ambitious figure the G7 have put out today should encourage others, there is a lot of work for the G7 to do: in ONE’s experience, big G7 announcements are only worth as much as the accountability framework and the funding behind it. To answer this burning question we call for a global moment before the end of the year where all development partners agree on their contribution. By then, the G7 will need to answer: they must mobilize $15bn every year if they want to meet the target of lifting 500 million people out of hunger and malnutrition.

Girls and women

For the first time ever, the G7 has agreed on an initiative supporting women and girls in G7 and also developing countries: with the increase of vocational training of women by a third, the G7 offers a trackable outcome target – though we believe that future summits must build on the ambition of this initiative. This women initiative is a very welcome and long overdue step. Two-thirds of the illiterate people in the world are women and their rate of illiteracy has not significantly changed since 1990. We now must ensure that this initiative means real change for women and girls and that they are never again left off the agenda. We won’t be able to end extreme poverty if we leave half of the world’s population aside. The G7 needs to seize one more opportunity to this end this year: the conference Chancellor Merkel will organize in September.


Chancellor Merkel promised to make health and the lessons learned from Ebola one of the big priorities of her G7 presidency. The G7 commitment to assist at least 60 countries over the next five years to prevent future outbreaks from becoming epidemics is a tangible contribution, and the mention of the Global Finance Facility is welcome – but the level of ambition and level of financial commitments to all health initiatives mentioned need fleshing out. These initiatives that the G7 has launched with other partners mean the world will be in a better position to fight an epidemic outbreak such as Ebola. However, the G7 seems to have learned only part of the lesson of Ebola. In addition to response capacities, there is the less glamourous task of strengthening local health systems. This is mentioned but not adequately addressed.  Firstly, to address the tragic health emergencies that happen on a daily basis in all the least developed countries; and secondly, to act as an early warning system and bridgehead in the case of an epidemic outbreak. Health care workers are completely absent from the communiqué. Liberia has only three trained health staff per 10,000 inhabitants, far below the WHO-recommended minimum (by comparison, France has 127, the UK 123 and Germany 151).  The G7 can’t stop here on health, and the Global Fund Replenishment in 2016, highlighted in the text, will be an important test of the G7’s resolve to deliver.

Tax transparency

It has been two years since the G7 committed to include developing countries in the progress made against tax evasion. However, no concrete results have yet been delivered. None of the least developed countries are part of the new system of automatic exchange of tax information and no G7 country has agreed to give them access to the data crucial to investigate against fraud. The G7 also stopped short of fully disclosing the real owners of companies and trusts.  This is even more disappointing as the summit took place against the backdrop of the FIFA scandal that showed one more time how shell companies are used to launder dirty money – a process that robs the poorest countries of billions of dollars that could be used to fight poverty.

AU/G7 initiative on renewable energy

The ONE Campaign applauds the announcement of the joint AU/ G7 commitment to install 10 GW of renewable energy in Africa.

Lack of access to electricity is a problem that plagues over 630 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, and undercuts progress on every development front.  The generation of new renewable energy will provide electricity that can improve access to quality health care, education, and economic opportunity that is necessary to see the end of extreme poverty.

Media contacts:

Asha Tharoor: [email protected] +447584470644b (English)

Karoline Lerche, [email protected], 0173/2490094  (English and German)

Annabel Hervieu: [email protected] +33631228968 (French and English)

Scherwin Saedi, [email protected], 0173/5419800 (English and German)