WASHINGTON, June 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S.-based NGO alliance InterAction welcomed the release on Friday of the G8's annual accountability report on development issues, but urged world leaders to make a more concerted effort to fulfill promises on agriculture and food security.
"We welcome the G8's pledge to be accountable and transparent. One area of concern, however, was the fulfillment of monetary commitments on agriculture and food security, particularly by the United States," said Samuel A. Worthington, president and CEO of InterAction.
The G8 ranked its progress on food security commitments overall as "good," but there were shortfalls in the actual delivery of those promises. For example, the scorecard showed that as of the end of 2012 the United States had fulfilled its 2009 L'Aquila Food Security Initiative (AFSI) commitment to spend $3.865 billion, but had delivered only 39 percent of this amount ($1.38 billion).
"The L'Aquila pledge, which was agreed on at a G8 summit in Italy in 2009, was only for commitments. However, without full delivery of those promises, the practical impact is greatly reduced. The world's hungry cannot wait," said Worthington.
Nutrition is the focus of a summit in London this weekend. InterAction members have pledged to invest more than $750 million in private funds in nutrition programs over the next five years.
"Malnutrition is responsible for nearly half of the deaths of children under the age of 5 and is the biggest single contributor to child mortality worldwide. InterAction member NGOs are deeply committed to tackling this challenge head-on and hope G8 governments will do the same," added Worthington.
The L'Aquila pledge period is now complete, but the report said G8 members recognized that the commitment to "act with the scale and urgency needed to achieve sustainable global food security" remains. "We are encouraged the G8 also see the urgency in this issue," said Worthington.
The 2013 accountability report was released ahead of the June 17-18 summit of the G8, which is being held this year in the exclusive golfing resort of Lough Erne, Northern Ireland.
The Lough Erne report tracked 56 development commitments in nine thematic sections. In six areas – economic development, health, water and sanitation, food security, governance and peace – the G8 rated itself as making "good" progress. In the remaining areas – aid, aid effectiveness and debt; education; and environment and energy – it offered a "satisfactory" grade.
"The 2013 report is the most comprehensive to date, but we think it could be even better. The report itself suggests that to facilitate monitoring, commitments need to be clear and transparent with identifiable timescales and benchmarks. We couldn't agree more," said Worthington.
"In some cases the bar is set so low that achieving it is not a stretch for governments," he added.
InterAction is the largest alliance of U.S.-based nongovernmental international organizations, with more than 180 members. Our members operate in every developing country, working with local communities to overcome poverty and suffering by helping to improve their quality of life. Visit www.interaction.org.