Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Global Poverty

You may have already read these comments from Jim Wallis in SojoMail:
While the G8 summit resulted in important steps, we must be truth-tellers about the degree of progress relative to the actual scale of need. While the G8 reached an agreement to provide an additional $50 billion in aid to developing countries with $25 billion designated for Africa over the next five years, an estimated $30 billion of this pledge is made up of money already committed in previous promises. At the summit President Bush reiterated a promise to double U.S. foreign aid to Africa. However, the majority of this doubled aid is being achieved through already promised increases to the Millennium Challenge Account and the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, with only $800 million in new money to support initiatives around primary education, fighting malaria, and empowering women. The agreement to 100% debt cancellation for 14 African countries represents a significant step forward, but includes only 1/3 of the countries that desperately need 100% debt cancellation in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. These crushing debts must be cancelled through an expedited process that ensures accountability and transparency while removing harmful economic conditions that have previously been attached to debt relief. Little to no progress was made in ending export subsidies and making trade rules more just for the world's poor, and the U.S. continued to block any real progress in addressing global warming at the summit.
I've been waiting to hear something like this. So much of the buzz around G8 was to the tune of "We Did It" and it didn't seem to me like we really had. Bob Geldof was saying things even before Live 8 to the effect that Live 8 was the "final push" and no longer a stepping off point, but I didn't see it. I started to wonder if he was a mole for the other side. Mission Accomplished?

2 comments:

LutheranChik said...

I hate to be a wet blanket (especially since Bono is a hero of mine), but I just didn't feel good about this last concert...the goals were vague, and the concertgoers, unlike a lot of them back during Live Aid, didn't seem to have a clue. Sigh.

Andy said...

I hear you. And the things is that there are some very specific goals in this cause. They just don't seem to have been talked about enough.

Some of it, though, I imagine will become unpopular as it is publicized. The G8 talk about eliminating farm subsidies was good news for Africa, but I don't imagine it will be seen as a noble cause in the midwest.