The G8 urges to ensure that aid reaches the poor
The Group of Eight (G8) – United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, the United States, France, Italy, Germany and Russia – announced on Saturday an agreement for debt relief with multilateral organizations from some of the poorest countries in the world .
The aid agencies said that this was the kind of initiative for which they had campaigned, but that the G8 could go further and expand the list of countries to benefit as well as the basket of aid offered.
They also added that aid often did not reach the poorest.
'There are very considerable bottlenecks to transfer funds from commitment to tangible aid. Sometimes these gains do not reach those who need them most, "said Greg Ramm, leader of the British group Save the Children in South Africa.
His group wanted to see the benefits of debt relief go to improving schools, health care and food, especially for children, Ramm told Reuters.
British Finance Minister Gordon Brown told British television on Sunday: "It's the biggest debt settlement that can be achieved and I think this is the starting point."
"But it will only be successful if it is applied with help, imparting justice, transparency, confronting corruption."
Debt relief worth 40 billion dollars (33,000 million euros) would be enough to eliminate the debt of 18 countries, which is the so-called "end point" of an initiative of the IMF and the World Bank.
The 'end point' is the date on which the cancellation of the debt becomes effective. The 18 countries are Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
MORE DEBT CANCELLATION NEEDED
Analysts said that the debt that some of the countries owed to other lenders that were not international organizations, was still too big.
"We need to have the entire debt annulled so that there is an impact on economic growth and development and to accelerate spending on social sectors such as health and education in a country like Zambia," said Isaac Ngoma, executive secretary of the group. specialists Association of Economy of Zambia.
"For many of the countries involved, it is a positive step, but it is still a small step," Ngoma told Reuters.
Other employees of humanitarian aid groups said the G8 had shown that it could take drastic steps to help Africa at the G8 summit next month in Gleneagles, Scotland.
South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu urged officials to closely monitor the agreement to make sure funds were not diverted by corrupt leaders.
/ By Manoah Esipisu /
- The G8 urges to ensure that aid reaches the poor
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