GCAP Concerned that Contradictions in Sarkozy’s Pledge of 2.5 Billion Show it Might be just a Number

Friday, February 29, 2008 - 12:27
Press Release29 February 2008The Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) has expressed concern that the 2.5 billion Euro pledge in aid for Africa by French President Nicholas Sarkozy yesterday is
Press Release29 February 2008The Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) has expressed concern that the 2.5 billion Euro pledge in aid for Africa by French President Nicholas Sarkozy yesterday is


Press Release
29 February 2008

The Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) has expressed concern that the 2.5 billion Euro pledge in aid for Africa by French President Nicholas Sarkozy yesterday is not additional spending as was presented.  France committed in 2005 to spend 0.7% of GNP in Overseas Development Aid (ODA) by 2015, and confirmed this at subsequent G8 summits, but for the past two years has been allocating less than required to meet the target. 

Speaking in Cape Town on a state visit to South Africa, Nicolas Sarkozy promised a total of 10 billion Euros over the next 5 years for sub Saharan African development. According to the OECD, France had allocated 15 billion Euros in ODA from 2002 to 2006.  This year would therefore represent a DECREASE in spending on ODA to Africa. 

While it is difficult to separate the measures announced yesterday to distinguish economic cooperation from that which relates to the fight to end poverty and inequality, French budgetary decisions are set to be made.

“In the context of budgetary constraints, only strong engagement under the legal framework of multi-annual budget planning can guarantee that ODA remains a political priority and therefore a budget priority of the French state,” said Anne Hery, Secretary General of Coordination Sud which heads GCAP’s French coalition.  She also called for an urgent parliamentary debate on the subject given the importance of the issue to France and to people living in poverty around the world.

Reaction to the speech among members of the GCAP alliance in Africa was muted.  “We asked the French President before his visit if he would make it clear that he was not deviating from his country’s commitment of 0.7% of GNP but what we heard was a numbers game that I really hope does not cost more lives on this continent,” said Christophe Zoungrana, GCAP Africa Coordinator. 

ENDS

Contact for interviews or additional information:


Ciara O'Sullivan, Tel + 34 679 594 809 ciara.osullivan@civicus.org

Christophe Zoungrana will visit South Africa on Tuesday, March 4th and is available for interviews.

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Notes to Editors:
The Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) is the world’s largest civil society alliance of social movements, International NGOs, trade unions, community groups, women’s organizations, faith and youth groups, local associations and campaigners working together across more than 100 national coalitions/platforms.  www.whiteband.org 

On October 17 2007, 43.7 million people stood up and spoke out against poverty and inequality in an unprecedented global call for action – of these over 7.15 million were Africans.  GCAP is calling for action from the world’s leaders to meet their promises to end poverty and inequality. In particular, GCAP demands solutions that address the issues of; public accountability, just governance and the fulfillment of human rights; trade justice; more and better aid; debt cancellation and gender equality and women’s rights.
Date published: 
29/02/2008