This afternoon the G8 leaders announced their communiqué on climate change – but healthcare funding is still proving to be a sticking point. Walter Otis Tapfumaneyi of the Panos Global AIDS Programme is not surprised.
It never rains but it pours for Africa, and the light at the end of the tunnel always seems to get dimmer because the world’s richest countries insist on making the tunnel even longer.
As if slavery and colonialism were not enough, Africa today is still being looted in the name of unfair trade, brain drain, conflict and corruption. And it even has to pay for crimes it has not committed.
Take climate change, for example, which today the G8 made a series of announcements about. The G8 countries represent 13 per cent of the world’s population but emit 40 per cent of its greenhouse gases.
Africa has hardly contributed to global warming but, according to this year’s IPCC report, Africa is the continent most vulnerable to climate change.
By 2020, yields from rain-fed agriculture in some countries could decrease by as much as 50 per cent, exacerbating malnutrition and food insecurity, while a three degree temperature increase could leave up to 1.8 billion more people facing uncertainty over their water sources.
Climate change, however, isn’t grabbing the headlines because of its potential to harm people in Africa, but because it also affects rich countries. HIV and AIDS, on the other hand, are slipping down the agenda. The number one enemy of the African continent is barely of any concern to the G8 countries, it seems.