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Last Updated: Friday, 8 June 2007, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
G8 leaders reach $60bn Aids deal
Aids orphan with grandmother in Malawi - October 2005 photo
Aids charities say the pledge does not go far enough
G8 leaders meeting in Germany have vowed to deliver on pledges to Africa, and agreed a $60bn (£30bn) package for fighting Aids, malaria and TB.

Officials said half of that amount would come from the United States.

On the final day of their summit, they repeated a commitment made at the 2005 Gleneagles summit to double aid for Africa by the end of the decade.

But anti-poverty campaigners expressed disappointment, with Bob Geldof saying the outcome was a "total farce".

This wasn't serious, this was a total farce
Bob Geldof

The pledge followed a deal to seek "substantial" cuts in greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to tackle climate change.

US President George Bush missed the first few hours of business on Friday, suffering from a stomach complaint.

At the close of the summit, the G8 issued a number of statements on other topics, saying:

  • It supported "further measures" against Iran if Tehran failed to stop its uranium enrichment programme
  • It would back further action against Sudan if Khartoum failed to support international efforts to end the conflict in Darfur
  • North Korea should stop testing nuclear-capable missiles and abandon all nuclear programmes
  • It had failed to find a common position on the future status of Kosovo

Limited progress

Mr Bush announced last month that the US would dedicate $30bn to the fight against Aids, and diplomats confirmed that would make up half of the funding announced on Friday.

GLENEAGLES SUMMIT 2005
G8 nations agreed to wipe the debts of 18 African countries
Announced $50bn boost to aid for Africa
Pledged universal access to HIV drugs in Africa by 2010
Committed to training 20,000 peacekeepers for Africa
Vowed to work towards a new trade deal
In return, African leaders committed to democracy and good governance

The BBC's James Robbins, who is at the summit, says the pledge follows acknowledgement that the G8 members had not met their 2005 commitments.

They have now agreed to a declaration stressing their firm resolve to implement those commitments, and to keep Africa at the top of the agenda in Japan next year.

Specifically, after much wrangling, the eight agreed to make up the $500m shortfall in this year's spending for education in Africa, our correspondent says.

But anti-poverty campaigners were unimpressed by the moves.

"This wasn't serious, this was a total farce... I won't have it spun as anything else except a farce," Bob Geldof said.

He added that instead of re-committing to the promises made two years ago, the G8 leaders had to get serious and deliver.

But he praised UK Prime Minister Tony Blair for pursuing the anti-poverty campaign "to the point of exhaustion".

Oxfam said only $3bn of the money was new.

UK development agency Tearfund said there was nothing in the G8 communique which could benefit trade in Africa, and the key issues of water and sanitation were not mentioned at all.

The Aids package was also criticised as inadequate.

"While lives will be saved with more money for Aids, this represents a cap on ambition that will ultimately cost millions more lives," said Steve Cockburn of the Stop Aids Campaign.

HAVE YOUR SAY
We should be looking at why the G8 haven't fulfilled previous commitments rather than allowing them off the hook to make more empty promises
John Brooks, Manchester, UK

Mr Blair said "immense progress" had been made in Germany. He said the G8 had reasserted the Gleneagles goals, "but the important thing is we have set out how we are going to do them".

Most campaigners acknowledge that some progress has been made since Gleneagles.

Writing off the debt of 18 African nations has allowed Zambia, for instance, to expand free healthcare in rural areas.

But other commitments - like a sustained boost to aid, and the pledge to work towards a free trade deal that would remove tariffs on African exports to developed countries - have still not materialised.

Global greenhouse gas emissions must stop rising, followed by substantial global emission reductions
G8 statement

Nigeria's newly elected President Umaru Yar'Adua, one of six African leaders attending the summit on Friday, told BBC News he would be seeking better trade deals for Africa and increased efforts to resolve the crisis in Darfur.

Thursday saw leaders agree a climate change deal. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the G8 would negotiate within a UN framework to seek a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol by the end of 2009.

No mandatory target was set for the emissions cuts, but Mrs Merkel's preference for a 50% cut by 2050 was included in the statement.




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