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2008 G8 Summit Position Statement

January 2008

InterAction applauds the United States’ critical leadership in advancing assistance to the developing
world, especially in the areas of debt relief and HIV/AIDS. The administration’s initiatives have resulted in
more than doubling of aid to Africa.

In 2005 G8 countries made historic commitments to work towards ending extreme poverty, especially in
Africa. The promises included: fighting HIV/AIDS and malaria while strengthening health systems;
canceling unsustainable debt of the poorest countries; expanding access to education, clean water and
sanitation; and supporting agricultural development. Although progress has been made on many of
these commitments, InterAction urges the United States to exercise its leadership role to ensure both the
United States and other G8 countries implement the commitments.

If developing countries are unable to spend their aid on health care and education the commitments will
be for naught. The International Monetary Fund’s macroeconomic policies too often restrict
governments’ ability to scale up investments in health care, education, and other sectors. This is due to
wage ceilings and unnecessarily risk-averse targets for deficit and inflation reduction. In addition to the
specific requests below, we urge the G8 governments to call upon the IMF to adjust these policies and to
ensure the IMF allows greater policy, monetary, and fiscal space within country budgets to meet health
care, education, climate adaptation, agricultural development, and other needs as outlined in the
Millennium Development Goals.

During the lead up to the 2008 Summit we call attention to four specific areas where we believe the
United States can once again play a leadership role. Two of the topics will be on the Summit’s agenda:
global health care and climate change while education and agriculture would be welcome additions.

Health Systems
We commend President Bush for demonstrating leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS with the
establishment of PEPFAR and last year’s commitment of $30 billion of additional funding over five years.
InterAction urges the United States to continue its leadership by pressing the G8 Summit to approve new
efforts and commit to reduce by two-thirds the mortality rate among children under five. The United
States needs to lead an international effort to significantly increase investments by the G8 countries, other
donors, and the developing countries to achieve MDG 4. The achievement of MDG 5 to reduce
maternal mortality by three-quarters requires improving maternal health in a holistic manner by ensuring
universal access to reproductive health care, expanding emergency obstetric care, and increasing skilled
birth attendants. This work will depend on strengthening health systems and a significant increase in
health care workers, especially in Africa.
Climate Change
Climate change is becoming one of the major drivers of poverty around the world, contributing to
economic destabilization, resource conflicts, and migration and refugee crises. The serious effects of
global warming are already being felt and will increase in severity due to continuing rise in global
greenhouse gas emissions. We applaud the recent attention by the US to human-induced climate
change. This has helped increase international engagement on these concerns. Impoverished countries
are being hit first and worst by the consequences of climate change and will have the least capacity to
cope with increasingly devastating impacts, including water scarcity, droughts, sea-level rise, floods,
disruption of agricultural production, and spread of disease.

The G8 countries need to reaffirm the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Bali
Action Plan as the central frameworks in which governments will address climate change. To achieve this
the G8 countries need to commit substantially increased assistance to vulnerable developing countries for
their needs to adapt to the existing and increasingly severe impacts of climate change.

Global temperature increases need to be limited to no more than 3.6 degrees F above pre-industrial
levels. To accomplish this G8 countries need to lead reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions to
below 50% by mid-century, with deeper cuts by developed countries.

G8 Summit Agenda
We applaud the role of the United States in identifying education as one of its three top development
priorities. We appreciate President Bush’s announcement in 2007of an Expanded Education Program
that would provide an additional four million children with quality basic education, deliver technical
training for 100,000 at-risk youth, and coordinate with child health programs that impact educational
attainment. InterAction requests that the United States ensure education is included on the Summit
agenda and within its communiqué statement.

InterAction also urges the addition of agriculture to the G8 agenda. The United States has been one of
the leaders in addressing global agricultural and food security issues. The President’s Initiative to End
Hunger in Africa (IEHA), announced in 2002, seeks to cut hunger in Africa in half by 2015. IEHA's key
principles include building alliances and broad-based political and financial commitments among public
and private development partners in Africa and focusing investments on core activities designed to
eliminate hunger in Africa. However sufficient resources have not been forthcoming. It is important for
the G8 to significantly increase its support for agricultural development in the developing world and
Africa in particular.

InterAction
InterAction is the largest alliance of U.S.-based international development and humanitarian non-
governmental organizations. With more than 165 members operating in every developing country,
InterAction works to overcome poverty, exclusion, and suffering by advancing social justice and basic
dignity for all.

For questions or comments please contact:
John Ruthrauff, Senior Manager of Member Advocacy
InterAction
1400 16th Street, NW Suite 210
Washington DC 20036
jruthrauff@interacton.org, Telephone: 202-552-6523.

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