G8 aid assistance in perspective
Check this out from The Independant.
Two years ago, the leaders of the rich world met at the G8 summit in Gleneagles and undertook to double annual aid to poor nations to US$50bn a year. Half of that money was to go to the world's poorest people in Africa. Yet none of the G8 countries are on track to meet the set aid targets. Italy's aid budget dropped 30 percent last year, while they spend more in ice-cream than on aid.
The rich world spent three times more on bottled water ($58bn) than it did on aid to Africa ($18bn) last year. It spent 10 times more on military expenditure ($1trillion) than on aid globally ($104bn). Even the country which has done best in keeping its word, the UK, is projected to fall short of its promise of $14.9bn by $1.6bn.
Yet last year Britons spent almost twice as much on champagne and wine as they did on aid. The French spent more on perfume, German women more on shoes and the Japanese spent more on luxury goods such as Gucci bags and Prada sunglasses than their governments did on the world's poor.
Despite the Gleneagles promises, global aid actually fell in 2006 for the first time in 10 years. Aid to Africa has grown only 2 per cent since 2004.
Furthermore, the Independent estimates that the richest countries would only have to spend $1 per citizen per year more than they currently do on aid to meet their pledges.
If New Zealand can increase its aid budget by $17 per citizen, surely the G8 can increase its budget by $1 per citizen. But it appears that G8 Finance Ministers don't even want to discuss aid this year.
Click here if you want to read about the 100,000 people protesting and rioting against the G8 summit.