- Focus on tax and transparency could see real progress
- Failed to give its strongest possible commitment to nutrition
- Points the finger on transparency, despite its own patchy record
“The G8 affirmed today it has ‘a responsibility to support prosperity worldwide,’ but how can they say the global economy is growing when our children are not? The G8 failed to throw its full weight behind meeting its own pledges to achieve essential elements of growth, especially preventing chronic child malnutrition and ensuring food security, ” says World Vision spokesperson Robert Zachritz in Washington. “As leaders return to their respective countries, they need to turn political will into action and start being accountable to their pledges on preventing child malnutrition.”
“The steps on tax, trade and transparency hold potential for real progress,” added Zachritz. “Ultimately, G8 2013’s legacy will be measured by its impact on the health and survival of the world’s most vulnerable children — the only true test of success.”
“Reducing the preventable deaths of children under the age of five is a marathon, and after last week’s Nutrition for Growth Summit, we were nearing the end of the first mile. Today, we’re running on the spot, which is disappointing. The G8 has failed to throw its full weight behind recent pledges, putting us in danger of going backwards,” says World Vision spokesperson David Thomson in London.
G8 recent history on delivering for children:
- At Camp David in 2012, the G8 set up the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, which has ignored nutrition until this year. This change in focus is a positive sign. World Vision’s grade: C+
- The G8 failed vulnerable children down at Deauville in 2011. World Vision’s grade: F
- In Muskoka in 2010, the G8 made an exciting US$5 billion pledge to the UN’s women and children’s health movement, which they are on track to deliver. World Vision’s grade: B
- In L’Aquila in 2009, the G8 promised to US$22 billion over three years to food security, with real potential to save millions of lives. Four years later, this commitment has not been fulfilled (only $16.5 billion has been disbursed). World Vision’s grade: C
“Promises made by governments, corporations and aid agencies at the Nutrition for Growth Summit ten days ago will save the lives of millions of children but only if they are followed through on. The G8 had a chance at this Summit to throw its collective weight behind those pledges, and has neglected to do so.”
“We are very disappointed that this agenda was not taken up and endorsed by the G8 itself. Given the importance of nutrition, we need to see leaders from eight of the most powerful and wealthy countries renew commitments they have made in the past, and that some of them made last week.”
“Leaders have talked a lot this week about transparency for companies and individuals, when their own record on this issue is patchy. Today, they have issued the Lough Erne Declaration that has potential, but is full of ‘shoulds’ where there need to be ‘musts’. They effectively mark their own homework and give themselves an A when their record and progress deserves, at most, a B-.”
“In order for today’s commitments to truly benefit children in the Democratic Republic of Congo, among others, who have the most to gain from greater transparency and whose futures are currently being extracted along with their mineral wealth, we need to see these ideas made real,” says Aimee Manimani from World Vision DRC.
“While mining can bring in important tax revenue for governments to fund health and education, corruption and a lack of governance can mean the benefits of this aren’t felt by the communities most affected. A lot more work needs to be done with governments of developing countries, to see this change. And, most importantly, citizens must be enabled to hold their governments to account,” adds Manimani.
“At the end of the day, it is particularly disappointing that the G8 didn’t use this opportunity to fully endorse the outcomes of the Nutrition for Growth event, and its goals. David Cameron is at risk of making nutrition everybody’s business and nobody’s responsibility.”
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About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.WorldVision.org/media-center/ or on Twitter @WorldVisionUSA.