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Global Economics

Germany to Boost Aid to Africa

At the G8 summit in June, the German Chancellor plans to announce a $2.67 billion increase, with half the money to go toward fighting HIV/AIDS

Germany plans to make an extra ??2 billion in development aid for Africa available over the next four years and will announce the increase at the G8 summit in June. The cash will help Germany meet international aid obligations. So far, part of its aid has been in the form of debt forgiveness.

Monica Awino, 19, an orphan living with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, queues for drugs at a clinic in the Mathare valley slums in Nairobi.

Monica Awino, 19, an orphan living with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, queues for drugs at a clinic in the Mathare valley slums in Nairobi.

Germany plans to boost its development aid for Africa by ??2 billion ($2.67 billion) over the next four years and Chancellor Angela Merkel will announce the increase at a June summit of the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations.

Half of the money will go towards fighting AIDS in Africa, the rest will be used to finance education and training projects. Merkel's announcement is not exclusively altruistic. The money is aimed at keeping Germany's development aid payments at a stable share of gross domestic product.

So far Germany has been meeting its international obligations on development aid by forgiving debt to poor nations, which counts as aid. But a decline in the level of forgivable debt means Berlin now has to come up with fresh cash.

In addition, Merkel, who holds the rotating chairmanship of the G8, does not want to be accused of neglecting the world's poorest nations when she is hosting the club of the world's richest nations.

Germany has pledged to increase its Official Development Assistance (ODA) to 0.51 percent of gross national product by 2010 and to 0.7 percent by 2015 under European Union agreement. In 2005 the German ODA ratio stood at 0.36 percent of gross national product, according to figures from the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Merkel and the leaders of the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Japan and Russia will meet in Baltic coast resort town of Heiligendamm on June 6-8 to discuss global economic issues.

Provided by Spiegel Online??ead the latest from Europe's largest newsmagazine

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