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The G-8 Summit and Africa

There have also been international efforts to alleviate poverty in Africa while at the same time ensuring food security. Leaders of the world’s eight richest nations (the G-8), meeting in Gleneagles,Scotland, agreed to double aid to the region, increasing it by US$25 billion per year by 2010. This is part of an overall increase of US$50 billion for all developing countries. The G-8 summit also agreed to cancel 100 per cent of the multilateral debts of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC), including 14 countries in the region – Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia (Deen 2005). G-8 leaders agreed to extend the HIPC initiative by two years.

This would allow a further ten countries to qualify for debt relief in excess of US$30 billion – Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, Sao Tome Principe and Sierra Leone (World Bank 2005). A special package of debt cancellation for Nigeria worth around US$17 billion was also endorsed (World Bank 2005). It is hoped that some of the resources thus freed will support improved food production and land management, agricultural extension and research into appropriate and sustainable farming technologies.

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