Save the Children Canada

Save the Children Canada

May 19, 2012 20:46 ET

G8 Leaders Must Not Let Eurozone Crisis Sidetrack Their Focus on Development

Save the Children statement on G8

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 19, 2012) - "Save the Children welcomes the G8 "New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition", but leaders must not allow the Eurozone crisis to derail their leadership needed to fulfill its promise. G8 leaders can't let the economic crisis in Europe cast a dark shadow over the bright promise they rolled out with African leaders this weekend."

"The European economic crisis has taken a toll on development aid levels, and it seems to have tempered the resolve of the G8 to maintain in the future the stepped-up effort it began in 2009.

"While focusing on global economic concerns, G8 leaders did well to underscore the importance of food and nutrition security for Africans. Their new focus on nutrition and bringing new players to the table - particularly the private sector - has reinvigorated the fight against hunger and malnutrition.

"While acknowledging the importance of continued public investment in achieving its goals, the G8's conclusion leaves room for its members to cut back their funding. Save the Children calls on G8 members to not only fulfill any remaining pledges from 2009, but to commit to at least maintaining that level of funding moving forward.

"Save the Children applauds the G8 for a strong accountability report. There is greater detail about whether leaders have kept their promises and the impact of those investments. To promote even greater accountability through public discussion, the report should be released one month before the summit.

"The New Alliance should maintain a high level of transparency and accountability for both public and private partners. The agency also calls on the G8 to ensure strong local civil society participation in the Leadership Council. The people benefitting from this initiative must have a voice in its design.

"Save the Children calls on G8 leaders to quickly expand the New Alliance beyond Ghana, Tanzania and Ethiopia. The scale of the problem - and the potential pay offs - are so huge, that these three countries need to be the starting line, not the finish line.

"Finally, Save the Children is pleased that Prime Minister Harper announced Canada's commitment of $600 million for sustainable agriculture. In addition, Minister Beverley Oda affirmed the necessity of closing the gap between food security and nutrition at the 1000 Days event held in Washington this week."

Cicely McWilliam

Senior Advisor, Policy

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