U.S., Britain press G8 to help poor nations

Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:12pm EDT
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By Alister Bull and Sumeet Desai

HUNTSVILLE, ONTARIO (Reuters) - U.S. and British leaders on Friday pressed other rich nations to deliver on their aid promises as they seek new ways to help poorer nations even though their own budgets are squeezed.

Five years after Group of Eight leaders heralded Africa's progress and committed to double aid to developing countries by $50 billion by 2010, the donors have delivered only two-thirds -- or an estimated $18 billion -- of the money they promised.

A G8 summit in Huntsville, Ontario, north of Toronto on Friday, is expected to omit any reference to the unfulfilled aid pledges made at the 2005 meeting in Gleneagles, Scotland, G8 and development officials told Reuters.

Canadian Prime Minister said it would put $1.1. billion in fresh funds into reducing deaths of mothers and their newborns in Africa.

While the group collectively have failed to live up to their aid promises, individually the United States, Britain and Canada met their commitments. Italy delivered none of its funding, while Germany, France and Japan gave less aid than promised, said anti-poverty group ONE which monitors the aid.

"I think it is frustrating that world leaders sign up to things and then don't deliver them and we have to make sure that happens," British Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters. "We made promises back in Gleneagles. We should stick to those promises."

The White House said in a statement President Barack Obama was urging transparency and accountability in the G8.

"The president believes that the credibility of the G8 rests on the willingness of its members to honor their commitments by reporting transparently on progress and identifying areas where additional effort is required," the statement said.   Continued...

<p>Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper (L) greets U.S. President Barack Obama at the G8 Summit at the Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario, June 25, 2010. REUTERS/Jim Young</p>