Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

Accra Aid conference: “priorities need to change”

Posted in International Development by Adam Westbrook on September 7, 2008
Can we halve poverty by 2015?

Can we halve poverty by 2015?

I haven’t written about development issues for ages – but last week’s Aid Effectiveness conference in Ghana is a good place to wade briefly back in.

Held in Accra, it was designed to find ways of making aid from developed countries have more impact in the countries they’re supposed to be helping.

Three years after the Paris Conference – where 100 countries agreed to do more to sort this out – it is still a huge problem.

Countries like the UK, France, Italy and America all promised to donate more cash – but shamefully they’re not making good on their promises.

“In simple terms” says Professer Jeffrey Sachs in an interview on Hardtalk, “the limiting factor holding back our progress towards the [Millennium Developement] Goals is the richest countries coming up with the money they have promised.

“We live in an age of cynicism and resistance, but we are not asking goverments to do anything they have not already promised. Some countries are delivering on their promises made in  2005 but where are France, Germany and Italy? If these countries are lagging then by far the biggest lagger is the US where we are committing only 0.17% of our income to development assistance.”

There’s only seven years left until we’re supposed to have reaced the Millennium Development Goals. At this rate that won’t happen.

Meanwhile blogger par excellence in Accra EK Benah was at the conference in Accra last week – check out his posts here.

Bad news for the kids…

Posted in Broadcasting and Media, News and that by Adam Westbrook on February 13, 2007

Child poverty in UKShocking, but hardly unbelievable statistics out today revealing Britain as the worst place to grow up if you’re a kid.

Newsnight are holding an interesting debate as I write. The government minister in charge of children Jim Murphy’s just appeared to try and defend Labour’s rather poor record over the past decade.

I was at a seminar on child poverty a few weeks back while covering the news that north London child poverty is some of the worst in the UK. Jim stood up at the beginning for a speech, which in fact was more of a discussion – or rather a “we don’t know how to solve this…so what do you think we should do?”

Good to get experts involved, but Jim had a rather hopeless air about him. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation say £4.3 billion is needed every year to do reach the government’s ambitious targets. Kids of the UK, don’t get your hopes up.