Oxfam denounces rich countries’ broken aid promises

PARIS, April 4, 2008 (AFP) – British charity Oxfam released Friday figures on aid spending showing that rich countries had broken promises made to substantially increase assistance to developing countries. The figures showed that in many of the Group of Eight (G8) richest nations, aid spending as a percentage of gross national income (GNI) had dropped significantly.

Oxfam pointed out that in 1970 rich countries promised to set aside 0.7 percent of their income as aid. It also referred to the 2005 agreement at the G8 summit in Gleneagles Scotland, to substantially increase development aid to Africa.

But the overall figure for European Union aid spending was down 5.8 percent from 2006 to 2007, with just 0.4 percent of the EU’s total GNI going to aid spending.

For the rich countries of the OECD, the figures were down 8.4 percent to 0.28 percent.

“These figures don’t lie,” said Jeremy Hobbs of Oxfam International.

“They show a clear lack of leadership on bringing much needed funding to poor countries.

“This failure to deliver on aid promises means millions of children denied a place in school, and mothers and children condemned to die,” he added.

“We must see emergency plan

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