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US$26 billion funding black hole threatens to

Ahead of the UN General Assembly in New York next week, aid agency World Vision has warned that a $26 billion funding black hole threatens to unravel progress on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

World Vision and Make Poverty History have launched a 10-point Millennium Development Goal Rescue Plan ahead of the UN General Assembly, warning that another round of empty promises from world leaders would put the MDGs – and the lives of millions of the world’s poor – in peril.

“There has never been any shortage of high-level declarations and commitments from donor countries, but in practice donor pledges have become a debased currency,” said Tim Costello, World Vision Australia chief executive.

“It is politics, not poverty, that is killing the world’s children.”

The gathering of world leaders comes on the 10-year anniversary of the MDGs, a global blueprint to halve poverty by 2015.

“At the Gleneagles meeting in 2005, the G8 and other donors committed to lift aid from $79 billion in 2004 to $128 billion by 2010,” said Mr Costello.

“Five years later, there is a yawning $20 billion gap between what was promised and what has been delivered. Only 60% of the Gleneagles commitment is likely to be reached.

“If meetings such as the UNGA in New York next week are to retain their credibility, donor countries need to start keeping their promises,” he said.

The plan from World Vision requires:

 Each donor country establish and publish an annual timetable to reach their existing aid volume commitments and beyond that to reach 0.7% of gross national income.

 Increased efforts by the UN and G20 to reduce opportunities for corruption and tax avoidance.

 The Australian government to provide $170 million per year – Australia’s fair share – for replenishment funding for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis.

 The world community to establish new forms of finance such as the Financial Transactions Tax (Robin Hood tax)

“Agencies like World Vision are vital in combating the tragedy of global poverty. But the reality is that we can’t turn back the tide unless governments in both developing and developed countries start lifting their weight,” said Mr Costello.

“The international effort to curb poverty has run off the rails. But these goals are not a school exam where you pass or fail. The closer we get to them, the more lives are saved.”

A summary of donor country shortfalls on aid is attached.

Tim Costello is available for interview.

Please contact Dominic McInerney on 0428 584 809.

MDG+10 Summit – MDG Summit Action Plan

On September 20th the UN will meet to consider the steps required to accelerate Millennium Development Goal progress worldwide.

We are calling for the Australian government to work with other UN members to ensure that an MDG rescue plan, incorporating the following 10 points, is adopted and that governments are held accountable for its implementation.

1. Each donor country establish and publish an annual timetable to reach their existing aid volume commitments and beyond that to reach 0.7% and ensure that aid is provided on a long term and predictable basis.

2. Through additional aid and restructuring of current aid ensure that critical education, health, food, agriculture, water and sanitation services are adequately funded. Specifically we are asking the Australian government each year to commit approximately $400m for basic education, $1200m for health, $500m for water and sanitation and at least $350m for food security and agriculture. We are also calling on the Australian government to provide $170 million – Australia’s fair share – for replenishment funding for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis.

3. Broaden the decision making base for international economic governance by increasing developing country representation in the IMF and World Bank and make the African Union a member of the G20.

4. Take concrete, measurable and monitored steps towards women being equally involved in all development planning, implementation and review from the global to the local level. Establish strong laws opposing violence against women in every country and undertake national campaigns in each country actively led by each national leader.

5. Rapidly accelerate implementation of Paris and Accra Aid Effectiveness principles (including harmonisation with and use of developing country systems and plans, greater coordination and reduced dependence on Western technical assistance) with annual review of progress.

6. Put renewed efforts into the WTO process and particularly tackle issues of reducing developed country subsidies and improved access to markets for developing countries.

7. The world community to establish new forms of finance such as the Financial Transactions Tax (Robin Hood tax), an International Finance Facility for Development (development bonds) or expanded debt relief programs in order to attain the 0.7% development finance commitment and fund additional costs of climate adaptation in developing countries.

8. Increase efforts in the UN and G20 to reduce opportunities for corruption and tax avoidance.

9. Agree to an effective international agreement to limit climate change to 2C or less, establish frameworks to encourage green business development internationally and the transfer of low carbon technologies and ensure developed countries meet their commitments to fast track and long term climate financing for adaptation programs in developing countries made at Copenhagen in December 2009.

10. Ensure civil society involvement in the planning, implementation and review of all development programs and establish an effective and wide-ranging consultation process to develop the post MDG framework between 2012 and 2014.



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