Historisk arkiv

Norway and other donor countries urge the G8 to provide more aid

Historisk arkiv

Publisert under: Regjeringen Bondevik II

Utgiver: Statsministerens kontor

Press release

No: 131/2005
Date: 6 July 2005

Norway and other donor countries urge the G8 to provide more aid

On the occasion of the G8 summit in Gleneagles, the prime ministers of Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden urge the G8 heads of state and government to provide more resources to fight global poverty.

The following letter was handed over to the G8 countries today:


Poverty is a global scourge. Poverty causes untold suffering. Poverty reduces global economic growth and undermines global security. Poverty, in all its forms and aspects, must be rolled back.

2005 is a milestone in the global fight against poverty and in reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). At the United Nations in New York in September we will all take stock of how far we have come in mobilising resources and changing policies. World leaders will have to deliver on their promises. The G8 leaders will also have to deliver at their Summit at Gleneagles in July. More resources are vital if we are to make the necessary progress towards 2015.

We are very pleased to see that the global fight against poverty, especially in Africa, is at the top of the G8 summit agenda, and that the G8 Ministers of Finance were able to reach agreement on the ambitious initiative to cancel multilateral debt at their meeting in London in June. We welcome the proposal for donors to provide additional contributions to IDA and AfDF to this effect, based on an agreed burden-sharing formula. It is imperative that the debt relief provided leads to real increases in resources, and the principle of additionality is of the utmost importance in this regard. We are all accountable for progress made, including in terms of real additionality of funds, and we would welcome an agreement among the G8 on an effective monitoring mechanism to this effect.

Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden have for many years been major providers of development assistance. We have allocated more than the UN target of 0.7 per cent of our gross national income to official development assistance (ODA). We take pride in referring to ourselves as the G0.7. But this is not the time to rest on our laurels.

We must act now, and we must act decisively if we are to make the progress needed to meet the Millenium Development Goals. Sub-Saharan Africa already lags far behind. The shortfalls are especially serious with respect to child mortality, maternal mortality, access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. Indeed, unless we all pick up speed, most Millennium Development Goals will not be met by 2015.

Falling aid volumes through most of the 1990s have contributed to this situation. Although we have now reversed this trend, an additional USD 50-60 billion, at least, must be raised annually in order to achieve the MDGs. Over the past decade we have learnt a good deal about increasing the effectiveness of aid, focusing our support on poor countries with good policy environments, promoting country ownership and better co-ordination among ourselves, and this has yielded significant results in terms of effectiveness. And as developing countries improve their policies, institutions and governance, aid will be used more effectively. This will mean that donors will be in a better position to assist, leading to further improvements. But if we expect the developing countries to do their part, we must do ours. And this does not only apply to a few like-minded donors, it applies to everyone. We need to see a more equal burden-sharing. We expect more G8 countries to join us in delivering on the agreed UN target of 0.7 per cent of GNI.

The increase in ODA in recent years is to a large degree the result of commitments by a few G8 nations and the European Union. The commitment by the EU and its member states to reach 0,56 per cent of their GNI by 2010 and 0,7 per cent by 2015 is important in this regard. This decision means an additional aid flow of 20 billion euros by 2010. Half of the increase will benefit Sub-Saharan Africa.

But despite the progress, and despite the debt relief initiative, there is an urgent need to do more – to provide better market access and increase the flow of resources to the poorest – and to do it fast. Here we need G8 leadership. New priorities must be set. Developing countries need to be able to increase export earnings. Trade distorting subsidies like the ones for cotton and sugar need to be addressed.

We must all redouble our efforts to assist Africa. Much of our ODA today is not going to the poorest. Support for Africa and for the poorest must be based on additionality and delivery of real resources to those who need it most. In cases where countries, like Tanzania and Mozambique, are on track as regard the MDGs on education and reduction in child mortality respectively, we must assist them in completing the job. This is what the global partnership for development is about; it is a partnership where each partner does their share.

The poorest of the world will measure progress not in terms of words, resolutions and reports, but in terms of a better life. The contribution of the G8 is crucial in this respect. It is not only the poor and other donors that expect concrete action from these countries, but also global civil society, which is a key actor in the mobilisation against poverty, not least in the G8 countries.

As Secretary-General Kofi Annan once said, the global dilemma of squalor amid splendour is a creature of human agency, and can only be reversed by human agency. When they meet at Gleneagles, we urge the G8 to make real and substantial increases in their ODA levels and thus act as agents for development in the fight against poverty. In meeting the challenge of the Millennium Development Goals, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden promise that they will continue to do their share – and more.”

Jan Pieter Balkenende, Prime Minister of the Netherlands
Kjell Magne Bondevik, Prime Minister of Norway
Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister of Luxembourg
Göran Persson, Prime Minister of Sweden
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark”