a little east of reality

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

whoa...they did it

Okay, I'm officially flabbergasted. I know it's not the whole goal and I am not under the impression that the world just changed overnight, but....

Not only did they agree to double aid to Africa. In addition, the leaders endorsed a deal struck by their finance ministers last month to forgive the debts owed to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank by 18 poor countries, 14 of them African.

They also pledged to set a date for ending the billions in subsidies for agricultural exports, reiterating a commitment previously made at World Trade Organization meetings. Such subsidies are widely blamed for lowering the prices of products sold by poor countries on world markets.

"It is in the nature of politics that you do not achieve absolutely everything you want to achieve," said Blair, who acknowledged that he had wanted the G-8 to set a date for ending farm subsidies rather than just promising to do so. "We do not simply by this communique make poverty history," he said. "But we do show how it can be done. And we do signify the political will to do it."

Blair noted that the rich countries now had to ensure that the money pledged was actually disbursed, and that Africans had to use the funds wisely: "In the end it is only vibrant African leadership, capable of giving good governance to its people, that will ultimately make the difference."

I think I'm going to take a break from being disillusioned with the world and spend today chasing rainbows and believing in unicorns.