rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

NEWS: The G8’s $10 billion failure

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

The G8 has evaluated and graded itself. And it likes what it sees.

The Toronto Star reports that, “The world’s biggest nations are giving themselves a pat on the back for making good on pledges to help their poorest neighbours, even as they admit they’ve come up $10 billion short in promised aid. (The G8) released the ‘Muskoka Accountability Report’ on Sunday assessing the progress so far on the big-ticket promises made at past summits.”

The Canwest News Service adds that, “But other than the official aid shortfall, the nearly 90 pages did not contain much clear information on how close or how far the G8 countries are, as a group, from delivering on more than 50 development-related pledges and plans from past summits that it examined.”

WATER
The Toronto Star highlights that on water, even the G8’s own “report warns that of falling ‘dangerously behind’ on the provision of sanitation.” The report notes, “Support for sanitation and water is not reaching the most affected countries with only 42 per cent of development aid commitments in sanitation and water over the past 3 years reaching the least developed or low income countries.”

CANADA GIVES ITSELF AN ‘A’
The Globe and Mail reports that, “On a key measurement of foreign aid by G8 members, the report shows Canada is fourth and out of step with efforts to further increase aid by 2015. Using Official Development Assistance as a percentage of Gross National Income, Canada’s 0.33 per cent for 2010 places it fourth, behind Germany’s 0.40, France’s 0.46 and the United Kingdom’s 0.60. The European Union as a whole, which has a seat at the G8, is planning to reach 0.7 by 2015. The report does not list any similar pledge from Canada.”

But that doesn’t matter to Canada’s Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon. He says Canada deserves an ‘A’ for living up to its pledges.

A DOSE OF REALITY

The Harper government has made much of maternal health as its summit priority, but Jeffrey Sachs, a leading economist and adviser to the UN Secretary General, says, “I can’t say that we’ve seen the Harper government really do much on these issues at all. And if they try to pass this off as a success, and they freeze the aid and the levels go down even from 0.3 of one per cent of (GDP), it would be pretty disappointing and far from accountable.”

Canada’s $5 billion aid budget will be frozen next year and is well below former prime minister Lester B. Pearson’s target of spending 0.7 per cent of GDP on development aid. Sachs says, “It is extremely surprising to me, I have to say, in an era where Canada’s economic performance has been very strong, Canada’s a very prosperous and wealthy country … it hasn’t seen fit to follow through on the very important targets it itself helped to institute.”

SCRAP THE SUMMITS

Sachs says, “The very summit that’s supposed to be about commitments being fulfilled and about accountability, they are probably going to try to duck this. In my view this would essentially be the end of the G8 as a credible instrument.”

By patting themselves on the back, the G8 has done just that. To join our call to scrap the summits, please go to http://www.canadians.org/action/2010/scrap-summit.html.

Brent Patterson, Director of Campaigns and Communications, Council of Canadians
www.canadians.org

 

 

 

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.