Congresswoman Waters Commends G-8 Aid Package
Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) issued the following statement on the G-8 leaders' pledge of 50 billion dollars to developing countries, including 25 billion dollars in aid to Africa:
"While I am pleased that the leaders of the G-8 have committed to canceling 100% of the debt of 18 countries, I was hopeful that the leadership of the 8 richest countries in the world would commit to erasing the debt of all 50 countries identified in the JUBILEE Act, which I introduced last year. This would have made a significant impact in these countries' ability to provide nutrition, education, and health care to their citizens.
"The pledge of 50 billion dollars in aid, including 25 billion dollars in aid to Africa, is indeed welcomed; yet it is simply not enough. While this pledge represents certain progress, some of us in Congress have been working to obtain an increased aid and debt cancellation package for Africa and poor countries for some time now. It appears that our legislative work has paved the way for this historic agreement between our world leaders to provide an expanded aid package during the G-8 summit.
"I believe the United States can provide stronger leadership by quadrupling its aid to Africa. This will begin to compensate for the exploitation of the natural resources of the continent. This additional funding will enable Africa to realize its potential, and allow its citizens to more fully participate in the global society. I encourage the President to work with Congress in implementing a substantial increase in aid to Africa for fiscal year 2006 so that the people of Africa will reap the benefits of this planned assistance sooner rather than later.
"We now need to develop and enforce a timeline for distribution of these pledged funds. We must ensure that the leaders follow through with their commitment to double aid to Africa. The promise of providing an additional 25 billion dollars to the African continent by 2010 is useless without these funds actually being distributed.
"Finally, I wish to thank all of the heads of the G-8 countries for their leadership during this year's summit as this aid package was crafted. I am hopeful that the promises of this year's G-8 summit will be fulfilled as we look to eradicate poverty, malnutrition and preventable deaths within the global community."