G8 negotiators have spent much of the week in disagreement over a range of issues – including the commitment made two years ago at Gleneagles to increasing aid to Africa. As the Summit opened today, the prospects for Africa weren’t looking bright.
Perhaps that’s unsurprising. It’s well known that aid has actually gone down in real terms, once debt relief is taken out of the equation. In fact aid agency Oxfam says, going by the present trends, the G8 could miss its 2010 target by $30 billion.
As the rows continue at the Summit, Germany too has been accused of only being interested in pushing its own model of social health insurance while apparently ignoring Africa’s own health strategy.
That all this is happening when some of the G8 countries – especially the US and Germany – made important aid increment announcements prior to the Summit is mind-boggling.
But what's happening here reflects the confusion these countries exhibit in their aid programmes for Africa and the rest of the developing world. More importantly these conflicts have damaging consequences on the ground.