G8 Watch 2012
18-19 MAY 2012, CAMP DAVID, United States of America
Member G8 News/reaction
NGOs React to Obama's Announcement on Food Security
WASHINGTON, 18 MAY, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Members of the U.S.-based NGO alliance InterAction released the following quotes on President Obama's New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition:
ActionAid: "While the New Alliance touts the role of the private sector, as President Obama said, this must include even the smallest African cooperatives. The real innovators in African agriculture are women smallholder farmers. Any private sector partnership to improve food security must place them and African civil society at the center."Henry Malumo, Africa Advocacy Coordinator, ActionAid International
InterAction: "A billion people go to bed hungry every day and a challenge of this magnitude requires a new approach. But any partnership with the private sector must not be a substitute for governments meeting previous obligations, such as those agreed in 2009 at the G8 summit in L'Aquila when $22 billion was pledged in agricultural and food security assistance."Sam Worthington, President and CEO, InterAction
Oxfam America: "G8 leaders should join President Obama to commit resources to help developing countries reach this ambitious goal. The pledge to find $1.2 billion for the trust fund to support country agriculture plans is a good start. But the G8 should recommit to the partnership they began at L'Aquila and maintain that level of investments. Otherwise, they'll be offering a shrinking solution to a growing problem." Gregory Adams, Director of Aid Effectiveness, Oxfam America
ONE Campaign: "It is particularly important that the G8 tomorrow endorse President Obama's commitment to sustain the L'Aquila promises on funding and policy coordination. It is vital, too, that action on agriculture is matched by a determination to stop the devastating impacts of chronic malnutrition on children's development."Michael Elliott, President and CEO, ONE Campaign
Save the Children: "At a time when a billion people go to bed hungry every night, Save the Children applauds President Obama for refocusing world attention on the 'injustice of chronic hunger' and the importance of nutrition in a child's first thousand days." Michael Klosson, Vice President of Policy and Humanitarian Response, Save the Children
World Vision U.S.: "We are pleased to see the President take a significant step forward to launch a food and nutrition initiative to lift 50 million people out of poverty, but leaders won't be able to claim success in 10 years if this alliance grows economies but not children." Richard Stearns, President, World Vision U.S.
STCL G8 Initiative Boosts Attention to Nutrition But Lacks Target
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 18, 2012) - At a time when a billion people go to bed hungry every night, Save the Children applauds President Obama for refocusing world attention on the "injustice of chronic hunger" and the importance of nutrition in a child's first thousand days.Save the Children welcomes G8 leaders' plans to lift 50 million people out of poverty and to address the global hunger and malnutrition crisis, which is devastating the lives of millions of children around the world.
Nutrition is an element of the initiative, but leaders missed an opportunity to take even bolder steps to tackle chronic malnutrition, which affects 171 million children every year. Boosting agriculture and private sector involvement is crucial to food security - but it is not enough. It's not just about growing economies - but growing kids. Children need the right kind of food and nutrition to help them thrive. Without setting a concrete G8 target for reducing chronic malnutrition, there is no way in which global leaders' and their partners can be held accountable over the course of this new initiative. G8 leaders must build on these steps no later than their London summit next year: many young lives depend on their strong leadership.
Sheri Arnott, World Vision's food security expert
We are pleased to see the G8 leaders, including Prime Minister Harper, take a significant step to keep food security and nutrition a top priority and help lift 50 million people in Africa out of poverty. But the leaders won't be able to claim success in 10 years if this Alliance grows economies but not healthy children. "Last year, a devastating famine tore through the Horn of Africa and today, 15 million people are at risk in West Africa due to cyclical drought. The New Alliance has the potential to help countries in Africa prevent these cyclical crises in the future, but only if these new investments directly benefit vulnerable households."
"For the New Alliance to be successful, private sector investment in Africa can't take the place of major public investments. This year, all of the G8 countries must urgently meet the commitments that they made at the 2009 L'Aquila G8 summit on food security. Canada was the first country to meet these commitments and at this G8 summit, we are looking for a commitment from the Government of Canada to sustain those funding levels in future. The New Alliance must be a true alliance and put smallholder farmers front and center. Smallholder farmers are the backbone of the private agricultural sector in Africa and produce the bulk of the food consumed on the continent. Helping families grow their businesses makes great sense and it should be the central goal of the New Alliance.
"The G8 has had a strong agenda on food security, and maternal and child health. These issues are linked because children and their families need enough nutritious food to be healthy. But the New Alliance misses an opportunity to bring all these pieces together by not committing new resources to proven nutrition solutions. Canada is making the connection in these areas and can lead the G8 to ensure this group of world leaders does too. In these challenging economic times, it's still important to remember those who desperately need help. The New Alliance will require true accountability to ensure that millions around the world can give their children a healthy start in life."
ONE Campaign Petition - Pre-G8
11 MAY 2012 - One Campaign has launched an on-line petition to G8 Leaders: THRIVE – Plant a seed of change in the G8. The leaders meeting in Camp David in the United States on 18-19 May 2012. “G8 Leaders, It’s time to break the vicious cycle of hunger and poverty. Please urgently agree to and implement a bold global plan to ensure 50 million people escape poverty through agriculture and 15 million children no long endure chronic malnutrition.”
Oxfam US: Leaders of the world’s richest countries fail to renew vows on global food security
19 MAY 2012 - As the Camp David G8 Summit winds down, international agency Oxfam criticized G8 leaders for failing to renew measureable funding and policy commitments to help address global food security. Leaders were unwilling to continue current efforts to invest in developing country agriculture, even as they set a new goal of helping 50 million people lift themselves out of poverty through agriculture by 2015. “As if they are using the classic break up line, ‘It’s not you, it’s me,’ the G8 is walking away from the agreement struck in Italy just three years ago,” said Oxfam’s Gregory Adams. “Breaking up is never easy, but the G8’s unwillingness to sustain their promises comes as the challenges facing poor people around the world are only getting harder.”
While members of the private sector featured prominently in G8 discussions, the concerns of smallholder farmers who are the key to food security were not at the table. Concerned with the direction of the G8’s efforts on food security, a number of African civil society leaders have asked the G8 to stick to the plans drawn up in L’Aquila. “The G8 made a commitment in 2009 to stand with developing countries for better or for worse,” said Oxfam’s Lamine Ndiaye. “Poor countries have presented the G8 country-led, sustainable, and coordinated plans for food security and agricultural development, but today the G8 gave them the cold shoulder.”
In one summit bright spot, a handful of countries made much-needed pledges to the tune of $1.2 billion to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), the multi-donor fund that invests directly in country plans. Oxfam urged the rest of the G8 to follow suit, channeling all pledges through the public sector window.