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Donors fail to fulfill pledges to help Africa - World Bank

June 3, 2007 (WASHINGTON) — Three years after pledging a doubling of aid for Africa and new opportunities for African exports, donor nations are falling behind in fulfilling their promises, according to a statement released by the World Bank on Sunday.

The assessment came ahead of a meeting of the G8 in Heiligendamm, Germany from June 6 to 8.

With Africa’s economic prospects high on the G8 agenda, the World Bank noted that despite the 2005 Gleneagles Summit, resulting in pledges to increase Africa’s development aid to 50 billion dollars by 2010, foreign assistance for development programs in many African countries remains essentially flat.

Meanwhile, the faltering trade talks under the World Trade Organization’s Doha Round have been another disappointment.

Overall the lagging resource flows come on top of an earlier decline in African assistance: excluding debt relief and emergency food aid, assistance to sub-Saharan African fell by 2.1 percent in real terms from 2004 to 2005.

According to estimates in the World Bank’s 2007 Global Development Finance, net official flows of aid and debt to African countries dropped to 35.1 billion dollars in 2006 from 35.8 billion dollars the previous year.

"The record so far indicates that apart from debt reduction, African countries haven’t realized the benefits promised at the G-8 Summit three years ago, during the Year of Africa," said John Page, the World Bank’s Chief Economist for the Africa Region.

"Many donor countries have increased support for special humanitarian assistance and debt reduction over four decades, but, unfortunately this does not translate into additional resources for African countries to rebuild their infrastructure, train teachers and combat HIV/AIDS and malaria," he said.

(Xinhua)