Yet again the G8 has released a report glossy enough for a press conference, but unlikely to feed the billion hungry in Africa and Asia.
The G8 has purposefully fudged its figures to look like it is meeting its commitments, but the truth is few nations have accurately reported where the money has gone or who it has helped. Shamefully the EU and Japan have not reported back on how much cash they have delivered at all.
With the world one failed harvest away from a food crisis, the G8 has got to start taking its hunger promises seriously.
ActionAid, who analysed a leaked copy of the accountability report, discovered the G8 had deliberately inflated food aid figures. Italy, France and Germany had included in their calculations previous aid commitments that were not part of their L’Aquila pledge. Furthermore, money used on ‘transport’, ‘land mine clearance’, ‘water supply’ and ‘sanitation’ had also been counted as aid to fight hunger.
Despite the G8’s 2009 agreement that investment in small farms in Africa was the key to avoiding a food crisis, there was little evidence that aid to agriculture had been scaled up significantly as a result of the pledge. Whilst most African countries have for now cushioned themselves against high food prices, a significant shortfall in agricultural aid means they are perilously close to tipping point.
ActionAid is calling on the G8 to:
- Openly publish all available data on where and who hunger cash is helping on a country by country basis.
- Commit to delivering the full $22billion pledged in L’Aquila in the next three years.
- Stop fudging figures by counting other aid commitments as L’Aquila money.
- Significantly scale up overall aid to agriculture beyond the L’Aquila pledge.
For more information and interviews contact:
Natalie Curtis, +44 (0)7931787025 or Natalie.Curtis@actionaid.org