Friday, June 08, 2007

The G-8 Pledge

The head-lines claim the G8 are pledged to spend $60bn (£30bn) over the next few years on HIV/Aids, malaria and TB . Worldwide, these diseases claim more than six million lives every year, with the threat particularly acute in Africa. About 63% of all people in the world infected with HIV live in Africa, while malaria is one of the leading causes of death in children in Africa. The $30bn recently pledged by the US for HIV/AIDS treatment over the next five years will be matched by a similar sum from the other G8 countries.

Let us ignore the politicians praises for themselves and quote those on the ground .

Aditi Sharma, Action Aid's head of HIV/Aids campaign, said: "Even this $60bn smokescreen can't cover up for the abject failure of the G8 to move forward on their Aids promises. What we came here for was a comprehensive funding plan. Instead in the last few days the G8 have diluted their commitment to universal access."

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

"...the reaffirmation at Heiligendamm of the Gleneagles pledges lack credibility.There is no reason to think that these targets will be any easier to achieve in the three remaining years before 2010." said George Gelber, head of policy at Cafod, the Catholic development group.

Matt Phillips, of Save the Children, said: "The G8 leaders have not delivered a concrete plan for tackling the crushing levels of African poverty. Today's deal was warm in words but that's cold comfort for the millions of African children who will continue to die through the lack of free healthcare"

and from others

Patrick Watt, an analyst for ActionAid, said: "Effectively the G8 can meet today's commitment by treading water. There has been a massaging down of expectations since Gleneagles."

"This summit outcomes document isn't readable in any language," said Bob Geldof "It's called a communique but it seems to have been deliberately designed not to communicate the real facts. Do they think we can't read or count? We are looking for accountable language and accountable numbers. We didn't get them today."

Bono said in a statement that the G8 countries had to lay out "clear year-by-year steps" as to how the promised aid would appear. "But this labyrinthine language offers no path -- it's a maze designed to lose an ever-increasing movement of engaged global citizenry. ..The bureababble reveals a struggle within the G8... "

We in the World Socialist Movement have news for Geldof and Bono . Of course , the Capitalist class disguise the truth with small print . They have had Sirs Bob and Bono so fooled with their propaganda and promises that those two have been touching the forelock to Bush and Blair like a pair of court minstrels and jesters .
Geldof and Bono never stop going on about giving more money and this feeds the illusion that without money we have no way to provide for the things we need.
This leaves us separated from our powers of action. It ignores the fact that productive resources are not money but labour, land, industry, manufacture, transport and communications.
The problems of world poverty , and in particular in Africa , require that these should be liberated from the economic constraints of money and the profit system. Such a socialist world would be able to stop people dying from hunger immediately and rapidly increase world food production to reach a point where every person on the planet would have free access to sufficient good quality food to maintain good health.

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