The rich look at Africa
On the table, the anti-poverty plan of the host and current president of the G-8, the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
The first point is the forgiveness of the foreign debt of the most impoverished countries. The most certain thing is that there is an agreement to forgive 16,700 million dollars (13,593.8 million euros) to 18 countries, 14 of them African and four Latin American.
The United States, the richest country that donates least per capita to the developing world, has accepted that the group assumes the costs derived from the cancellation of the debt contracted by these countries with the World Bank and the African Development Bank, but not what they have with the IMF.
The African Union, meeting this week in Libya, has demanded that the debt of all African countries be canceled, amounting to 296,000 million dollars.
The second initial objective of Blair was to double the aid to the black continent up to 100,000 million dollars a year, by creating an international financial mechanism for the sale of bonds. The idea, however, has not gone well in
Washington, and President Bush has just announced an aid of 1,874 million dollars, 1,200 for the fight against malaria and 674 for emergency programs.
At last 0.7%?
Faced with this refusal, France, Russia and Germany have opted to allocate 0.5% of GDP for 2010 to the poorest countries and 0.7% for 2015 (percentage claimed by NGOs for years), a proposal that has more visos to get ahead.
There are many voices that, in addition to more funds, require a reform of the global trading system, starting with the elimination of subsidies that allow exports to impoverished countries below the local cost of production (dumping).
Bush is left alone against Kyoto
Climate change is the other priority issue that the G-8 will address. As Blair himself has acknowledged, it will be "very difficult" to reach an agreement. President Bush, who has refused to accept the scientific analysis of climate change and ratify the Kyoto Protocol, is predictably the only one who does not sign the final communiqué. It would be the first time that the G-8 faces a fissured declaration. In addition, Blair has invited the leaders of China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico to address this issue.
New march and last 'live 8'
Today is the most important day of protests, with the march called in Edinburgh by activist Bob Geldof and the last concert of the eleven Live 8. The hundred arrested on Monday appeared before the judge yesterday.
City armored by 10,000 agents
More than 10,000 agents from all over the country will watch the summit that takes place in the Gleneagles hotel, in the middle of the countryside. It is the largest security operation ever seen in Scotland.
And also: irak, palestine …
Washington also attends the meeting, as indicated by the president, with the intention of talking about the peace process in the Middle East, the progress of the global economy and Iraq, among other issues.
More than figures
0.23% of GDP: Average contribution of rich countries to development in 2002. (0.35% in 1980 and 0.51% in 1960).
46 years: Life expectancy in Africa (77 in the G-8).
15% of the world population: Represents the G8. Its decisions affect 3,000 million people.
1,000 million people: Live with less than a dollar a day.
60 cents: Average daily income of the poorest in sub-Saharan Africa in 2001 (62 in 1990).
$ 50,000 million more annually: Must be provided by donor countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
900,000 million dollars a year: World military budget.
40% of African exports: Correspond to agricultural products.