Rich nations give record sums to poor, but fall short
Belgium is among nine nations who will exceed specific goals of earmarking a minimum of 0.51 percent of their gross national income in overseas development aid
PARIS, February 17, 2010 (AFP) - Rich countries will give record amounts of aid to poor nations this year, but their contributions come to only about a half of what was pledged five years ago, the OECD said on Wednesday.
A meeting of the Group of Eight industrial powers in Gleneagles, Scotland and another on the UN's eight Millennium Development Goals in 2005 pledged to increase aid by 48 billion dollars over 2004 levels.
Of that total only 27 billion dollars (19.6 billion euros) in the additional aid has been allocated, leaving a shortfall of 21 billion dollars.
Of that figure 17 billion dollars is the result of lower-than-promised giving, according to the OECD, while 4.0 billion dollars reflects weaker than expected economic growth in donor countries.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said its estimates were based on national aid budget plans for 2010.
Africa, in particular, will receive only about 12 billion dollars of the 25-billion-dollar increase it was allocated at Gleneagles, according to the OECD, blaming the shortfall largely on "underperformance" by European donors.
Four countries -- the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia -- appear on track to meet their varying 2010 aid commitments.
Nine others will exceed specific goals of earmarking a minimum of 0.51 percent of their gross national income in overseas development aid. They include Sweden, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium, the OECD said.
Overall, the report said, aid will increase by 35 percent this year compared to the amounts in 2004, a record in dollar terms.
"Aid has increased strongly as 16 donors have honoured their commitments," made at two 2005 summits, said Eckhard Deutscher, chairman of the Development Assistance Committee of the Paris-based Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development.
"But underperformance by others, notably Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan and Portugal, means overall aid will still fall considerably short of what was promised," he said.AFP/Expatica