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Africa Gets Less Than Half of Pledged Aid

 InDepth News 19 May 2019

(Originally published: 02/2010) Bad news for the one billion inhabitants of the most castigated continent reeling under exploitation of its resources and the adverse impact of climate change as well as the financial crisis triggered by industrialized countries. (702 words) - By Babukar Kashka

NAIROBI, Kenya - Bad news for the one billion inhabitants of the most castigated continent reeling under exploitation of its resources and the adverse impact of climate change as well as the financial crisis triggered by industrialized countries. In fact, Africa is likely to get only 12 billion out of the 25 billions dollar aid increase pledged by the world's richest nations in 2005.

Africa is, however, not the only region suffering from broken promises. In a new review, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) informs that aid to developing countries in 2010 will reach record levels "in dollar terms" after increasing by 35 per cent since 2004.

These levels should result in additional aid of 27 billion dollars from 2004 to 2010. But there will be "a 21 billion dollar shortfall" between what donors promised in 2005 and the OECD estimates for the 2010 outcome.


BIG SHORTFALL

Of this shortfall, 17 billion dollars are the result of lower-than-promised giving by the donors and 4 billion due to lower-than-expected Gross National Income (GNI) because of the global financial crisis.

GNI is a measure of a country's annual income based on the total value of goods and services produced within its territory, plus net income received from other countries in such forms as interest payments and dividends.

Though a majority of industrialized countries will meet their commitments, the underperformance of several large donors means there will be a significant shortfall, according to the Paris-based organization, which groups 30 developed countries.


FAR FROM PROMISSES

"But it will still be less than the world's major aid donors promised five years ago at the Gleneagles and Millennium + 5 summits," it stresses, referring to the Group of Eight top industrialised countries' summit in 2005 in Gleneagles, Scotland.

"Africa, in particular, is likely to get only about 12 billion dollars of the 25 billion increase envisaged at Gleneagles, due in large part to the underperformance of some European donors who give large shares of official development assistance (ODA) to Africa."

In 2005, the 15 countries that are members both of the European Union and of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) committed to reach a minimum ODA country target in 2010 of 0.51 percent of their GNI, accruing to the review, released on Feb. 17.

Some of these countries will surpass that goal, says OECD. These are Sweden, with the world's highest ODA as a percentage of its GNI at 1.03 percent, followed by Luxembourg (1 percent), Denmark (0.83 percent), the Netherlands (0.8 percent), Belgium (0.7 percent), the United Kingdom (0.56 percent), Finland (0.55 percent), Ireland (0.52 percent) and Spain (0.51 percent).


NOT ENOUGH

"But others will fall short: France (0.46 percent), Germany (0.40 percent), Austria (0.37 percent), Portugal (0.34 percent), Greece (0.21 percent), and Italy (0.20 percent)", warns the OECD and adds that other DAC countries made varying ODA commitments for 2010, and most, but not all, will fulfil them.

The United States pledged to double its aid to sub-Saharan Africa between 2004 and 2010.

Canada aimed to double its 2001 International Assistance Envelope level by 2010 in nominal terms. Australia aimed to reach 4 billion Australian dollars.

New Zealand plans to achieve an ODA level of 600 million New Zealand dollars by 2012-13. All four countries appear on track to meet these objectives.

Norway will maintain its ODA level of 1 percent of its GNI, and Switzerland will likely reach 0.47 percent of its GNI, exceeding its previous commitment of 0.41 percent.

Japan's Gleneagles promise was to give 10 billion dollars more over the period 2005-2009, but in 2008 it was still 4 billion dollars short of this undertaking.

All these figures are estimates based on countries' national 2010 aid budget plans where available and on early GNI estimates.


FIRM COMMITMENT, BUT…

Eckhard Deutscher, chair of the DAC, noted that aid has increased strongly as 16 donors have honoured their commitments.

"But underperformance by the others, notably Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, and Portugal, means overall aid will still fall considerably short of what was promised," he informed.

"These commitments were made and confirmed repeatedly by heads of governments and it is essential that they be met to the full extent," Deutscher emphasised.

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