Campaigners gear up for G8 meeting

By staff writers
March 26, 2007

Campaigners across England and Wales are gearing up to put pressure the G8 to take urgent action over poverty, when it meets in June.

They want the G8 to deliver on the pledges made two years ago as a result of the Make Poverty History campaign and do more to halve extreme poverty by 2015.

Charities and campaign groups in the UK will call on the UK Government to try and ensure the G8 summit delivers on a range of issues including debt cancellation and more and better aid, trade justice, healthcare, education, water and sanitation for all, and firm plans to prevent catastrophic climate change and address its impacts.

Helen Wolfson from Catholic aid agency CAFOD said: "G8 countries must deliver on the promises they made at Gleneagles in 2005. We are deeply concerned at the moment that some countries may fail to meet those commitments - the World Can’t Wait for action!"

As part of the campaign, CAFOD, together with the international Catholic networks Caritas Internationalis and CIDSE, is encouraging supporters to call on the G8 leaders to take action to ‘Make Aid Work.’

The Catholic agencies want G8 countries to deliver promises to increase aid to 0.7 of national income, and to ensure that aid is used effectively to end poverty.

Helen says: "We are seeing the difference debt relief is making in countries such as Tanzania where primary school fees were abolished enabling 1.6 million children to return to school.

"Equally, aid can and is achieving so much, from immunising children and paying community nurses to providing free primary education.

"Aid is now rising, but not fast enough, and it must be delivered more effectively if it is to work for the poor. We must keep the pressure up to urge the G8 to take action and take action urgently."

CAFOD and other supporters of the World Can’t Wait campaign in the UK are organising a major event at Westminster on June 2.

Thousands are joining together to call on Tony Blair and German Chancellor Angela Merkel who is the President of this year’s summit, to make the G8 meeting a good one for the world’s poorest people.

The event will centre on a mass moment, when campaigners will join up along the Thames to raise their voices against poverty and call for justice for millions around the world.

The G8 summit takes place in Heiligendamm from 6 - 8 June.

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