Published on Nourishing the Planet /Worldwatch Institute, by Kamaria Greenfield, November 26, 2011.
According to the anti-poverty group The ONE Campaign, the Group of Eight (G8) and other rich nations have donated only a fifth of the US$22 billion promised to impoverished countries in July 2009. This reflects a larger trend of the decrease of foreign aid for agricultural development. Aid was at a high point in the mid-1980s, reaching US$20 billion, but has since declined. In the early 2000s, the number was around only US$3 billion. By 2009, it had crawled back up to around US$9 billion.
Two years ago, the world’s wealthiest nations gathered at the G8 plus meeting in L’Aquila, Italy, where they committed to “take decisive action to free humankind from hunger and poverty through improving food security, nutrition, and sustainable agriculture”. It was an important move in support of smallholder agriculture, with money going to categories like transportation and storage, food security assistance, and rural development. The L’Aquila Food Security Initiative, as it was named, was backed by 27 countries and 14 international agencies … //
… Meanwhile, ONE has set up an Agricultural Accountability website, which allows viewers to use an interactive “pledge tracker” by scrolling across a world map and clicking on any of the L’Aquila participant nations. Each country’s profile includes statistics of donations, both disbursed and outstanding, and eight categories of non-financial progress. These include comprehensive approach, environmental sustainability, and transparency. The possible grades in the eight categories are On Track, Somewhat On Track, and Needs Improvement.
According to ONE, Canada and Italy are both close to completing their disbursements, with 89 percent and 82 percent given, respectively. The U.S., though significantly behind in donations, has been frank about its shortfall—onee of its three on track grades is for transparency.
There is still a year remaining for the donations to be completed, and the famine in East Africa and pressure for accountability from organizations like ONE will ensure that the much-needed funds are given in full. (full text).
(Kamaria Greenfield is a research intern with the Nourishing the Planet project. To purchase your own copy of State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet, please click HERE. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE).
Two Years On: Is the G8 Delivering on its L’Aquila Hunger Pledge? March 2011.