Development charity One.org has released its annual report examining how far G8 countries are meeting their Gleneagles commitment to double aid to Africa. The US, Japan and Canada are headed towards meeting or exceeding their pledges, while Germany and the UK are said to be ‘striving’ towards their ‘big commitments’. Unfortunately, France and Italy are letting the rest of us down. Apparently, they account for 80% of the shortfall in aid increases. Italy’s efforts in particular are described as an ‘utter failure’. Bob Geldof is quoted as having commented in a characteristically forthright manner:
Poor, sad Italy. That their economy is in such a disastrous meltdown condition that they must steal from the poor, rob the ill and snatch education from the minds of the young not only beggars the imagination, but must also surely beggar the soul of that most beautiful country. Shame on you. Your government disgraces you.