Save the Children Canada

Save the Children Canada

July 08, 2009 00:01 ET

More Than 75,000 Children Will Die During G8 Summit

L'AQUILA, ITALY--(Marketwire - July 8, 2009) - More than 75,000 children will die during the three-day G8 summit, according to Save the Children.

The aid agency warned the G8 leaders who are meeting today in L'Aquila are failing to do enough to save the lives of the 9.2 million children who die every year from easily preventable diseases.

Only 3% of aid that rich countries give to the developing world goes into maternal, newborn and child healthcare. The total contribution is only $3.5 billion dollars year, half of what Save the Children is calling for.

Save the Children said that if the G8 leaders and other donors do not double that money to at least $7 billion by 2012, they will have no chance of reaching their target to reduce child mortality by two thirds by 2015. At the current rate of progress, this target will only be achieved by 2045.

Adrian Lovett, Save the Children's director of campaigns said: "It is outrageous that 9.2 million children are still dying every year. More than 75,000 alone will die over the three-day G8 summit.

"Previous G8 leaders have made promises that have too often not been kept. This year they have to show they are committed to saving children's lives by doubling aid for maternal, newborn and child healthcare.

"The G8 and other rich countries are only giving $3.5 billion a year to stop children dying. That's half of what Save the Children knows is needed to substantially reduce child mortality."

The G8 leaders have also failed to deliver on the promise they made in Gleneagles: that the G8 and other world leaders would give an extra $50 billion in aid by 2010, bringing the total to $130 billion.

New figures by Save the Children show that contributions from the G8 members alone are already $20 billion short, a deficit which looks set to rise to $25 billion by next year.

Adrian Lovett continued: "Quite simply, every dollar the G8 holds back means another child's life is threatened and more children will die."

Save the Children is urging the G8 leaders in Rome to:

- dramatically increase funding to meet aid promises made at Gleneagles.

- double the money for child and maternal healthcare from $3.5 billion (2006) to $7 billion in 2012 to get back on track to reduce child mortality by two thirds.

- prioritise aid for countries with the highest child mortality rates and number of under-five deaths.

Notes to editors

- The G8 contributions to maternal, child and newborn healthcare were last assessed in 2006 by The Partnership for Maternal and Child Health.

- G8 contributions to development are based on G7 contributions of Official Development Assistance from 2005-2008 as reported to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Development Assistance Committee OECD DAC. The figures for 2009-2010 are projections based on the trend of 2005-2008 figures. The 2005-2008 figures include debt relief and other fluctuations which donors include in their reports to OECD DAC but usually try to exclude when underlying trends are considered.

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Contact Information

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