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G8 nations reaffirm Africa aid pledges

by Reiji Yoshida

TOYAKO, Hokkaido — Faced with criticism for long delays in delivering promised aid to Africa, member nations of the Group of Eight pledged Tuesday to follow through on commitments made at the 2005 Gleneagles, Scotland, summit.

In a joint statement on development and Africa, the industrialized states expressly reconfirmed their vow to increase annual global economic aid by $50 billion from the 2005 level by 2010, earmarking half for Africa.

G8 countries have been criticized for not delivering the aid they have earlier promised for Africa.

“We acknowledge that ODA from G8 and other donors to Africa should be reassessed and may need to be increased for the period after 2010, beyond our current commitments,” read the statement issued Tuesday.

In the joint statement, the G8 also agreed to: Particularly focus its aid on health, water and education. Establish a followup mechanism to monitor its progress on the health-sector commitment. Repeat its commitment to provide at least $60 billion over five years to fight infectious diseases and strengthen health. Increase the health coverage for Africa’s workforce toward 2.3 health workers per 1,000 people, a target set by World Health Organization.