* Italy, Germany, France, Japan, others fall short - OECD
* $21-billion deficit for this year, Africans suffer
* Broken promises a scandal - Oxfam
By Vicky Buffery
PARIS, Feb 17 Rich nations, including Italy,
Germany and Japan, will fail to honour aid pledges made five
years ago, the OECD said on Wednesday, and Africa in particular
looked certain to suffer from the shortfall.
An Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD) report said there would be a $21-billion deficit between
the aid promised by most of the world's wealthiest countries for
this year and actual donations.
Africa will bear the brunt of these arrears, receiving just
$12 billion of the $25 billion envisaged at a G8 summit in
Scotland in 2005, when many countries promised to double aid.
"There is a world out there today that is running very, very
short in terms of alternatives," OECD Secretary General Angel
Gurria told reporters.
International charity Oxfam denounced the failure of some of
the world's biggest economies to meet their commitments.
"These broken promises are nothing short of a scandal,"
Oxfam senior policy adviser Max Lawson said in a statement.
"A woman dies every minute in childbirth somewhere in the
world because of inadequate medical care and 72 million children
remain out of school," he said.
In 2005, a group of 15 European Union states promised to
donate a minimum of 0.51 percent of gross national income to
development aid for the world's poorest countries by 2010.
The OECD predicted Italy would reach only the 0.20 percent
mark, Greece 0.21 percent, Austria 0.37 percent, Germany 0.40
percent and France 0.46 percent.
It said some countries would surpass the goal, despite the
financial crisis, with Sweden set to provide 1.03 percent and
Luxembourg 1.0 percent.
Even countries that have been particularly hard hit by the
financial crisis have managed to deliver on their pledges,
notably Britain (0.56 percent), Ireland (0.52 percent) and Spain
(0.51 percent). Belgium is also set to exceed its promise by
donating an estimated 0.7 percent of GNI.
"Countries such as the UK, Spain and Belgium are
demonstrating it is possible to show development leadership, and
we still hope to see others like France, Germany and Italy
stepping up in 2010," said Lawson.
The OECD said Japan was also likely to fall $4 billion short
of its G8 undertaking to donate $10 billion more between 2005
(Table of projected donations here. All figures are
in 2004 dollars and relate to net ODA).
(Reporting by Vicky Buffery; Editing by Janet Lawrence)