Aid from rich countries to Africa remained static last year even though G8 leaders promised in 2005 to spend $50bn more each year to 2010 on aid, with half the rise going to sub-Saharan Africa. The so-called Gleneagles commitments were championed by Tony Blair, UK prime minister, and Gordon Brown, his chancellor.
--Jeff Sachs, special adviser to the United Nations secretary-general, speaking at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Mr Sachs, complaining about the failure of governments to keep their aid promises, was answering a question about the potential impact of a new wave of philanthropic giving by wealthy individuals and corporations:
“Groups like Rotary have done a lot, have brought down polio 100-fold,” he said, referring to a public-private partnership started in 2003 to eradicate polio also involving the UN, the World Bank and the Gates Foundation. This work is all based on the principle that “economic development is about applying technology on a mass scale”.
But Mr Sachs also criticised what he described as the shrinking role of the World Bank as it had pursued a single-minded focus on fighting corruption under its president, Paul Wolfowitz. “They behave like there’s an ogre out there called corruption and [the World Bank] can’t do anything because we have to tackle the beast first.”
[Excerpt of an article by By Leyla Boulton and James Lamont, The Financial Times]