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Some of the reactions that emerged within 24 hours of the G8 Communiqué

9 July 2005

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The following are some of the reactions to the G8 package:

KUMI NAIDOO, GLOBAL CALL TO ACTION AGAINST POVERTY
"The people have roared but the G8 has whispered. Currently 50,000 people die unnecessarily each day. If the leaders actually implement today's announcement in an urgent manner, we estimate that by 2010 this will fall to around 37,000. Those who have joined the world's largest movement to end poverty can be proud that their voice and efforts will ensure that millions more people will live in health and dignity, but they will not rest until all of these needless deaths are stopped. "The promise to deliver by 2010 is like waiting 5 years before responding to the tsunami,"

"Despite constant calls from people worldwide for trade justice it is desperately disappointing that G8 leaders failed to act properly on this issue. The debt deal announced is a small belated step in the right direction and though it is good that the principle of 100% cancellation has been recognised, much more needs to be in done in terms of the number of countries, the amount of money and the eradication of conditionalities.

"The Global Call to Action against Poverty will continue to pile on the pressure on all of our demands, including debt cancellation and challenging the structures of injustice, in the run-up to the Millennium Development Summit in September and the WTO meeting in December. "Given the track record of G8 leaders of broken promises, we will also be closely monitoring their commitments. GCAP calls on citizens and civil society organisations around the world to get involved and join their national coalition. The white band will continue to be a symbol in the fight for justice against poverty".

NIGERIAN PRESIDENT OLUSEGUN OBASANJO, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE AFRICAN UNION,
"The meeting of the G8 leaders and African leaders in Gleneagles is a great success and we thank and congratulate Prime Minister Tony Blair for the success achieved."

COLLECTIVE STATEMENT OF NINETEEN AFRICAN NETWORKS AND ORGANISATIONS ENDORSED BY NINE INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS
Firstly, we express our total solidarity with the British people and our deep sorrow for the victims of the terrorist attacks on London yesterday. Simply put, we are disappointed in the outcomes of Gleneagles. The resolutions fall far short of our expectations for a comprehensive and radical strategy to make poverty history in Africa. Our work has just begun. Over the next six months, we shall intensify our campaigns for; Total and unconditional debt write-off for all of Africa failing which, debt repudiation becomes the logical conclusion for African Governments, the G8 to meet the 0.7% GNI target for international development assistance and front load those commitments without donor imposed policy conditionality, the WTO to recognise the right of African states to redress and to protect their fragile economies without losing their right to access industrialized countries markets and the removal of OECD market access constraints and an end to subsidies that lead to dumping of products on Africa markets and the crowding out African producers.

JO LEADBEATER, HEAD OF POLICY AT OXFAM
"The G8 have recognised today that this is the beginning, not the end, of their efforts to overcome poverty. The world's richest nations have delivered welcome progress for the world's poorest people, but the outcome here in Gleneagles has fallen short of the hopes of the millions around the world campaigning for a momentous breakthough"

CAROLINE SANDE-MUKULIRA, DIRECTOR FOR ACTION AID IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
"This is another disappointing result for Africa, we had quite huge expectations of the G8 leaders. The African Union had also made some strong demands at their meeting in Libya this week, but none of these were met."

BOB GELDOF AND BONO, LIVE8 ORGANISERS
"Six hundred thousand people will be alive to remember this G8 in Gleneagles who would have lost their lives to a mosquito bite. If an Irish rock star can quote Churchill, this is not the end of extreme poverty, but it is the beginning of the end. The summit was a "qualified triumph."He gave the leaders 10 marks out of 10 for their pledges on aid and eight out of 10 for debt relief. "The world spoke out and the politicians listened, if the world keeps an eye out, they will keep their promises."

JOHN HILARY, DIRECTOR OF CAMPAIGNS AT WAR ON WANT
"The G8 have given less than 10 percent of our demand on debt cancellation and even a fifth of what we called for on aid. On trade, the G8 has hardened its stance, forcing more countries to open their markets and threatening millions with the misery of poverty. When the moment came to act, the G8 turned their backs on the world's poor."

GEORGE GELBER, HEAD OF POLICY AT CAFOD
"For the G8 leaders, the cost of making poverty history was too high. Sadly it is the poor who will pay the price with their lives and livelihoods. "But what has been achieved at Gleneagles today is a beginning, as the G8 leaders themselves have recognised, a beginning that gives hope to Africa and will spur campaigners to redouble their efforts."

DAVID MWIRARIA, KENYAN FINANCE MINISTER
"This is the best thing that the group could have done to Africa. Our biggest constraint in fighting poverty and development is lack of resources. If they are going to give us the resources upfront as they have said before, it will be wonderful. "(But) intentions and actualisation are not the same thing. We would like to see a situation where there is money now and we can start applying for it, even if it is loans we don't mind. We would (also) like to see debts waived.

PROFESSOR MWEFIGA BAREGU, UNIVERSITY OF DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA
"It should have been total debt cancellation. But we should find a formula which makes it possible for Africa to retain the money given and stem leakages. We should not have one dollar coming in and five going out. "Aid has had the same effect on Africa as AIDS has had - it destabilises the immune system of African countries. The emphasis by African governments should be to stimulate real production and to grow its own markets. Africa has a huge dormant market and by putting money into people's pockets, then you have a market."

ANNEMARIE REILLY, SOUTHERN AFRICA REGIONAL DIRECTOR, CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES
"The promised increase is very welcome and could provide real help for combatting poverty in southern Afria but I'd hold the applause until these pledges are made concrete -- until we are sure that these are new funds being committed and that the aid will be devoted to real needs and not donor priorities. Often what we see happening is they announce a new programme but it is not new money."

BEN COUSINS, DIRECTOR AGRARIAN STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN CAPE
"This is better than nothing and it is positive that the world is now debating poverty and how it derives from the way the global economy works. The negatives coming out of the G8 initiatives and the Make Poverty History campaign is we run the risk of mystifying the real cause of poverty in the less developed world. "The causes are not only high levels of debt, not only due to low levels of development aid and high levels of export subsidies in the developed world. "The bigger problem not identified is the way ordinary global trade takes place ... in favour of the developed world."

NJERI KINYOHO, ACTIONAID'S GLOBAL COALITION AGAINST POVERTY COORDINATOR FOR AFRICA
"It is a welcome decision. It is a step in the right direction. But I would treat it with caution because for as long as that $50 billion plus whatever else they are going to release will come with conditions, then obviously it will be undermining the very campaign we're trying to champion. We're saying we want aid that is not tied to any kind of conditionalities, particularly economic policy conditions where they ask us to further liberalize and open up our markets."

ROBERT BUNYI, AFRICA ECONOMIST, STANDARD BANK
"Any increase in aid is going to be good for Africa. I don't know if more aid could be absorbed. I doubt it. The take-up by governments has to be over a period of time. What they've said in the past is that a lot of it will be spent on HIV/AIDS, malaria, preventing deaths in childbirth, making sure as many people as possible get a primary education. "If you look at what has happened in the past to countries like Tanzania, Mozambique and Ghana, their currencies have strengthened a lot because of the large amount of aid they have received. It makes their industries less effective and it makes them less appealing for foreign investors. African governments need to focus on what will draw in foreign investment.

DUMISANI MNISI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SAVE THE CHILDREN SWAZILAND
"In the NGO sector, you can easily say 96 percent of funding comes from outside this country, so this would clearly be a huge new investment. We would welcome that, but again hope that it would be directed to civil society groups and NGOs as opposed to governments. "People are a bit jaded in terms of these promises. We need to see it become concrete. It is just an announcement but we don't know what it will translate into in real concrete terms."

BRIAN KANTOR, INVESTMENT STRATEGIST AND ANALYST, INVESTEC SECURITIES
"I am sceptical about aid for Africa. Unless you can trust the leadership it can do more harm than good. "The rock stars were all asking for aid but it really has to be qualified by democratic institutions. One fears this money will simply entrench those who are not answerable to their people. "Aid has been tried before and failed comprehensively so there is no reason to believe it will work this time. "But the news on trade is positive. Trade not aid is the answer so access to European markets will be very helpful to developing countries. "But again, there must be assurances that African leaders are not siphoning off export revenues by charging huge tariffs."



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