Donors must improve on Istanbul summit pledge to world's poorest

Fri, 05/06/2011 - 10:04 -- content_manager02

Budget squeeze no excuse to let targets slip

BRUSSELS, 6th May, 2011: The first UN summit for the world's poorest countries in a decade must ensure that developed countries make good on commitments to help the most destitute, a global coalition of over 1000 civil society organizations said today.

“Richer nations cannot use the economic crisis as an excuse not to follow through on their engagements,” said Tony Tujan, co-chair of BetterAid.

“This week's conference must ensure the immediate flow of 0.15 percent – 0.20 percent of the total gross national income of developed countries to the less developed countries, in line with previous commitments.”

The four-day United Nations conference on the 48 Less Developed Countries opens in Istanbul on 9 May. The so-called LDC-4 summit will adopt an “action program” for the coming decade that is likely to include a target of cutting the number of people suffering from poverty and hunger by half.

BetterAid insists the Istanbul summit must go beyond good intentions to produce concrete results that go beyond the limited achievements of the last LDC conference in 2001.

“The Istanbul meeting must transcend business as usual to yield robust and ambitious plans so that the gap between the haves and have nots can be narrowed down significantly, if not eliminated, within the coming decade,” said Arjun Karki from LDC Watch and BetterAid. “It is a tragedy that in the 21st century there are still populations categorized as poor, excluded, and vulnerable.”

In particular, the poorest nations need funding in addition to already committed development money to help them cope with the effects of climate change. The entire group of LDCs emits only about 0.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, yet their populations are hit the hardest by the impact of global warming.

The Least Developed Countries have a combined population of 885 million of whom 75 per cent are living on less than $2 a day.

Download BetterAid's statement to the UN LDC IV Conference

BetterAid events at the UNDC IV

More information on BetterAid