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Catholic agency says G8 results worth nothing to Africans

The British Caritas aid organisation CAFOD has said this week's G8 meeting in Evian, France, did nothing to alleviate the hunger, poverty and HIV/AIDS experienced by African nations.

African countries came to Evian looking for the substantial advances in development assistance, trade reform and debt reduction needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

Last year they were told the lack of funds would not deny them the chance to achieve the Millennium Development Goals if they showed genuine commitment to poverty reduction, good governance and economic reform.

CAFOD's Head of Policy, George Gelber, said: "They take home good intentions, rather then the desperately needed resources and reforms necessary to halve the number of people living on less than a dollar a day in Africa."

However CAFOD did welcome US plans to provide $A22.8 billion for the battle against HIV/AIDS. The US offer had an immediate galvanising effect on other G8 members.

Gelber said: "This shows that money talks. We welcome the G8's resolve to fight the scourge of HIV/AIDS."

CAFOD also noted the UK Government's commitment to work for a fundamental review of debt sustainability. Gelber said debt relief remains one of the best ways to fight poverty, although he fears that Britain has "few allies".

"Unfortunately the significant advance on HIV/AIDS at the G8 is not matched by new agreements on trade, debt, and aid. African countries have left Evian no nearer to achieving the Millennium Development Goals than before they arrived," said George Gelber.

Independent Catholic News

CAFOD | CAFOD says G8 big on good intentions, feeble on action
British Caritas targets hypocrisy of G8 leaders (2/6/03)
Millennium Development Goals
Evian Summit (G8)
G8 Actions

4 Jun 2003