The Group of Eight wealthiest nations on Friday pledged 60 billion dollars to fight Aids and malaria in Africa, and to uphold an earlier pledge to boost its development aid.
A declaration released by the G8 in the presence of leaders from major developing nations included a raft of humanitarian measures, amid accusations from charity groups that the most industrialised nations were failing the world's poor.
"We are aware of our obligations and would like to fulfil our promises," the summit's host, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, told
The G8 aid initiatives include:
- 60 billion dollars for HIV/Aids over the next few years. Of that 30 billion dollars has already been pledged by the United States. Part of the 60 billion dollars includes six to eight billion dollars for the Global Fund to fight Aids, malaria and tuberculosis.
- specific mention of the aid commitment made at the G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, to progressively increase aid by 50 billion dollars per year by 2010, of which half would go to Africa.
- three "significant dollar commitments" to support action on mother-to-child, paediatric treatments, maternal and child health totalling 4.8 billion dollars.
- a commitment to allow local production of drugs such as anti-retrovirals for HIV/Aids patients to ensure cheaper prices for medication.
- an agreement to cut the prevalence of malaria in 30 African countries, which is responsible for 80 percent of deaths, cutting deaths in half.
- strong support for funding national health strategies.
- 500 million dollars for education in 2007 and support for long-term funding.
- support for sustainable financing of African peacekeeping, establishing a standby force and building capacity.
US President George W. Bush unveiled the main thrust of the initiative in May, before its formal announcement Friday by Merkel.
African leaders including South African President Thabo Mbeki were attending the final day of the summit Friday to meet the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States. – (Sapa-AFP)