Monday, April 30, 2007

Africa aid target 'may be missed

Aid targets for Africa "will be missed" unless more is done, former United Nations chief Kofi Annan has warned.

"Unless we step up our efforts we will not make the target," he said.

Mr Annan, who set up a panel to assess the West's aid pledges to Africa, made his comments at a high-level meeting in Berlin to discuss the matter.

In 2005, rich nations pledged to increase aid for developing countries by $50bn (£24.9bn), and eliminate debt of the 18 poorest nations in Africa.

'Not enough'

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was among those attending the meeting, said that while debt relief goals had mainly been reached aid targets were far from being achieved.

"There has been significant, though not enough, increase in the aid money that has been given," said Mr Blair.

Mr Blair warned that failure to help Africa would mean places like Germany and the UK "would be damaged as a result of the poverty, the conflict, the mass migration, the spread of terrorism and so on".

Meanwhile, according to figures released on Tuesday, the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) said the UK was on target in terms of its aid levels.

The European Union (EU) set a target for its 15 established members to give 0.51% of Gross National Income (GNI) in aid by 2010 and 0.7% by 2013.

In 2006 the UK provided £6.85bn in aid which amounts to 0.52% of Gross National Income.

The African Progress Panel is set to meet again later on this year to track progress.

Link to BBC NEWS | Business | Africa aid target 'may be missed