ROME, Italy, JULY 6, 2009 (Zenit.org).- If the planet's most industrialized nations want to regain authority regarding the end to poverty, they need to turn back the clock on years of broken promises, says Caritas Internationalis.
In a statement released today as the G-8 nations are gearing up for their July 8-10 meeting, the international aid organization said that the "summit comes in a critical year for international development."
"The global economic crisis threatens gains made in reducing poverty over the last 10 years. As many as 100 million more people will remain poor or become poor as a result of the crisis," the agency affirmed.
Caritas urged the G-8 to reaffirm their commitment to targets already agreed upon, and to "establish timetables showing how they are going to reach their targets."
However, the statement affirmed: "Hopes are not high. G-8 countries have backtracked on their aid pledges, particularly Italy and France, citing the crisis as an excuse. However, world military spending surged to a new high of $1.4 trillion in 2008 while $8.7 trillion of state financing was found to shore up banks."
Caritas Internationalis Secretary-General Lesley Anne Knight said, "If the G-8 is to have any credibility left after this summit, it must make up for the broken promises of the past. This means committing to a firm timetable for achieving its previously agreed aid targets. To be cutting aid budgets while pouring billions into a bankrupt banking system is like robbing the poor to feed the rich.
"The G-8 has an opportunity this month to show real leadership in the fight against global poverty. If it fails, it will show itself to be irrelevant."