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Tuesday, March 28, 2017
CAFOD calls on G8 to seize the moment
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¬†As the G8 begin their summit CAFOD has called for "dramatic" changes to allow the developing world to work itself out of poverty. Gleneagles is the last opportunity for G8 leaders to show that they are serious about ending extreme poverty, says the agency. If they fail to deliver, the disappointment will be measured in premature and preventable deaths and blighted lives across Africa. George Gelber, head of policy, said: "In a world that spends one trillion dollars a year on arms and armies it is inconceivable that the richest countries cannot find the extra $50 billion dollars a year ≠ a twentieth of this sum ≠ that will help put an end to the cycle of poverty and despair across the developing world. "But it's not only money we are asking for ≠ we are demanding a dramatic change to rules that deny developing nations the chance to earn their own way in the world." The Catholic aid agency acknowledges the UK's high ambitions for this summit but developing countries want clear commitments from the G8 that will fulfil their international undertakings to halve poverty by 2015. Most of the G8 signed up to reaching the 0.7% target of aid money 35 years ago. At Cologne in 1999, they promised $100bn in debt relief. So far they have only provided $36bn. Another summit has come around and still these promises remain unfulfilled. In 2002 they solemnly promised that no country committed to poverty eradication, good governance and economic reform would be denied the resources needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. This is another pledge that has not been honoured. CAFOD partner and head of the Justice and Peace Commission in Zambia Mulima Kufekisa said: "All across Africa people are demanding a new approach. More of the same is not an option. "With Africa and climate change at the top of the agenda and with millions of people in the UK and around the world calling for an end to paper promises, there is more pressure then ever before to deliver the resources that could lift millions out of poverty and create a more just world." Henry Northover, policy analyst, said: "It should be clear that this is only the beginning. The peoples of Africa are demanding an end to the handout mentality. They want policies that will deliver the economic justice and rights that will enable them to take their place as equal citizens in the world. "This means ending the unfair trade rules that rob Africa of $1.3 billion a day in export earnings, providing an extra $50 billion in aid now and resolving the debt crisis once and for all. This time, there can be no broken promises."
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