Lame G8 outcome betrays the poor and their own citizens

The Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) is deeply angered at the failure of the G8 to respond to the growing passive genocide occurring in Africa and across the developing world.  Their announcement on funding for disease prevention is based on a deliberate numbers trick, which detracts from their failure to honour previous commitments.  Their own citizens and the poor in developing countries are alert to their tactics and asking if this is not some sort of new global economic apartheid.

“We challenge the G8 leaders to look us in the eye and say that they would have acted with the same abhorrent lack of urgency if the 6000 people dying of AIDS daily in Africa and the children dying needlessly around the world every three seconds were from their own countries” said Kumi Naidoo, Chair, GCAP.

The announcement on Friday of $60billion to tackle disease (AIDS, malaria and TB) and support health systems is less than the amount outlined in Gleneagles. There is no timeframe for delivery and a deliberate absence of detail. The G8 also showed weakness in tackling climate change in a meaningful way.  Although their announcement of a long-term process to address the issue is welcome the poor wonder if it will deliver too late for them to save their lands and livelihoods.

“To say that $60billion will be delivered over the coming years is not comforting at all given that Putin, Blair, Bush will not be in office to deliver this through with no guarantee that their successors will honour these pledges, making much of the communiqué easily disposable words.” added Kumi Naidoo in Germany today.

Through their failure, the G8 ignores the plight of millions of women worldwide struggling with the burden of poverty and disease.  In effect, this G8 is a betrayal of women, young people, workers and the most vulnerable.

“They are effectively saying to the people in Africa and across the South: don’t raise your voices – the poor, the sick and the starving of the world can wait another year.  There’s no rush.  I say to the G8 no, we will not be silenced, the people will hold you accountable for your lack of responsibility.” said Kumi Naidoo.

Under the umbrella of GCAP, millions have taken actions since 2005 to end poverty and inequality as well as demanding that the UN Millennium Development Goals are met and exceeded.  As we approach the MDG’s halfway point governments have been clearly mandated to address poverty with far greater urgency than they have demonstrated to date.

See below the reaction to the summit outcome from GCAP activists around the world.

Ciara O’Sullivan, GCAP Media Coordinator, + 49 151 53655193 [email protected]
Kel Currah, GCAP’s G8 Working Group, + 49 151 536 55 191 [email protected]

Reactions to the summit outcome from GCAP activists around the world

Kel Currah, GCAP G8 Coordinator and World Vision International
“I was there two years ago in Gleneagles.  What they promised that day was not enough, far from what was needed or what they could easily afford.  But it could make a difference.  It is a scandal that two years later they are running away from even these inadequate promises.  This is a failure of leadership on a grand scale, and one that the world can ill afford.”

Thomas Deve, GCAP International team and MWENGO Zimbabwe
“The G8 has remained a platform for dodging real issues that affect daily lives for people of the South. No effort was made to address failures at the WTO level in terms of trade justice or remotely deal with dangers posed by Free Trade Areas and Economic Partnership Agreements. Its deliberations pave the way for trans-national corporations to destroy people’s economies and sustainable livelihoods.”

Mark Fried, spokesman for Canada’s Make Poverty History campaign
“On the big issues of aid to Africa and climate change, this G8 will go down as a missed opportunity. Mr. Harper’s miserly refusal to make financial commitments for HIV/AIDS, education and overall aid to Africa, like his efforts to postpone serious reckoning with climate change, is far out of step with the Canadian spirit. Unless he opens his heart and his wallet, it will be all the harder for people to work their way out of poverty.”

Héctor Béjar, Nacional Coordinator of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty and inequality, Peru
“From the birthplace of the Andean civilisation, our people aspire to a better future and global justice.  We are ashamed the G8 failed to use its decision-making powers to guarantee the survival of the planet. It is life itself that is at stake”.

Matt Phillips, Save the Children UK
‘It was right to put African healthcare at the top of the G8’s agenda. But we struggle to see how the outcome will get healthcare to a single child presently facing unpayable doctors bills. The warm words are cold comfort to those children.’  

Aditi Sharma ActionAid International
“This summit is a disgraceful indictment of the world’s most powerful leaders’ commitment to Africa and AIDS. Instead of writing a cheque for the war against AIDS they have written off 3 million of lives every year.”

Ziad Abdul Zamad, Arab NGO Network on Development
“The Arab region remains heavily reliant on official development assistance, especially the least developed countries in the region. However, in the Arab region, aid flows have been overly politicized; ODA is highly concentrated in a few middle income countries, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan. Moreover, it is quite odd that least developed countries in the Arab region have consistently received less aid than the regional average, at least in terms of aid per capita”

Steve Cockburn, Aids Consortium UK
“The G8 summit has been a triumph of words over delivery, of talk over  action. Lives are not saved and promises not kept with warm words in declarations, they are saved by providing enough money, health-workers and affordable medicines to treat those in need. The G8 has ultimately failed to do this and failed to deliver for communities across the globe. They have a lot of work to do from here.”

Andrew Pendelton, Christian Aid
“Africa is on the frontline of climate change and many of its poorest people are already suffering increasingly volatile climatic conditions. Existing initiatives to tackle HIV and improve education and healthcare in poor countries, in which the G8 has played a Jekyll and Hyde role in recent years, are at risk of being swept away if climate change is not tackled.“

Notes to Editors

The Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) is a worldwide alliance of trade unions, community groups, faith groups, youth, women and other campaigners working together across more than 100 national platforms. GCAP is calling for action from the world’s leaders to meet their promises to end poverty and inequality. In particular, GCAP demands solutions that address the issues of public accountability, just governance and the fulfilment of human rights as well as trade justice, aid quality and quantity, debt cancellation and gender equality. For details of actions planned in 2007 go to

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