As the G8/G20 Summit in Ontario, Canada, approaches, a new report released by the Jubilee USA Network assigns the Group of 20 nations a grade of ‘D’ in keeping its commitments to poor countries.
The G20, which represents 85% of the global economy, has fallen short of its pledges for funding international development, according to the report. Jubilee says that of the $50 billion promised at their April 2009 meeting in London, less than $25 billion has actually been put forth. Moreover, commitments made to double aid to Sub-Saharan Africa are $18 billion short. The report card on the G20’s progress gives “F”s in meeting the need of curbing tax havens, increasing IMF and MDB lending, developing standards for responsible finance, supporting trade finance, fulfilling past aid pledges, forgiving unsustainable debts, and addressing climate change. Their “overall performance on behalf of the poorest countries” was graded as a “D” because of their unaccountability, lack of political will, and contribution to renewed debts in poor countries. “In the 78 poorest countries where the vast majority of the population live on less than $2 per day,” there have not been the substantial improvements needed. G20 governments are eager to receive the initial praise for making substantive promises to fight the lack of food, healthcare, and education in the developing world, but haven’t had the political will to follow through, the report says. Hollow promises only lead to more suffering and instability in the world’s poorest places, threatening not only locals’ well-being, but the prosperity and security of industrialized nations as well.