U.S. not much help at G8
[My response to this years news coverage of the G8 Conference]
Tony Blair at the 2005 G8 Conference in Gleneagles, Scotland failed to get all the G8 summit countries to commit to boosting foreign aid to an amount equal of 0.7 percent of national income by 2015. The United States did not make any additional pledges.
There's no doubt that the United States of America is the largest contributor of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to some of the worlds poorest, underdeveloped countries. But before you start patting yourself on the back for a job well done, consider this:
The U.S. giving is currently at .16% of gross national income, the SMALLEST percentage of any G-8 country.
The U.S. is "2nd to last" out of 22 countries in giving as a percent of GNI.
The U.S. only beats out Italy by .01% of GNI for last place among the 22 countries.
Norway (.87%), Luxembourg (.85%), Denmark (.84%), Sweden (.77%) and the Netherlands (.74%) are the TOP 5 contributors as a percentage of GDP.
G-8 members did pledge up to $3 billion a year for three years, or up $9 billion total, to help energize the Palestinian economy and create conditions more conducive to getting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process back on track, but much of it is in the form of private investments.
As far as the U.S. being a leader in helping to clean up the worlds environmental problems: The United States is the only G-8 nation as of July 8, 2005 to NOT ratify the Kyoto treaty, which took effect in February 2005.
Reporting from the underground...