Washington Post Examines Commitments to Africa Made at G8 Summit, Reaction From Advocates
The Washington Post on Thursday examined the pledges made by the Group of Eight industrialized nations at its summit earlier this week in Japan to help Africa address development issues, including the fight against diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. According to the Post, G8 members "reiterated their commitment to doubling aid to Africa by 2010, seeking to assuage growing concern that they will miss the ambitious targets they set" at their 2005 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland. G8 leaders also created new "accountability" methods to ensure that rich nations meet their African aid pledges, the Post reports.
Aid to Africa has been of "particular interest" to President Bush, and his aides said that they were pleased with progress at the summit, especially by programs to train health workers, combat tropical diseases and provide 100,000 insecticide-treated nets to fight malaria, according to the Post. "The lesson of this summit is that the emphasis is on implementation and delivery," British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, adding, "The emphasis is on turning words into action and making them far more concrete than ever they have been in the past." Bush also praised "progress on alleviating sickness in Africa," adding that G8 leaders "had a comprehensive agenda on helping those who are being affected by disease live healthy lives."
However, several not-for-profit groups and advocates expressed concern over recent studies that found G8 countries likely will not meet overall development goals unless efforts are increased drastically. Although the U.S. is not seen as at risk of missing its targets, some advocates believe the country is not doing enough when considering its size and resources, according to the Post. In addition, others said that the final G8 language on accountability is "relatively modest," the Post reports. "Accountability is good," Kel Currah of World Vision International said, adding that accountability for low development commitments is "not going to achieve that desired impact we are all looking for. We need more money" (Abramowitz, Washington Post, 7/10).