Prime Minister Tony Blair just read off the G8’s statement on aid to Africa. The BBC reports that they’ve — we’ve, if you’re a citizen of a G8 nation — committed an extra $50 billion in anti-poverty aid.

This is below the United Nations’ target of an immediate 0.7% of GDP, although the G8 have pledged to reach 0.56% by 2010, and 0.7% by 2015.

As Simon Jeffrey notes on The Guardian‘s G8 Newsblog:

It was not — as campaigners wanted — a deal to make poverty history. Gordon Brown, a politician who has supported the campaign more this weekend, said this week that, as far as campaigners are concerned, “what [the government] can achieve is perhaps not good enough”. As leaks and drafts of the communique on aid, trade and debt filtered out of Gleneagles this morning, NGOs said it was less than they wanted — especially on trade, and scheduling increases in aid to 2010 instead of immediately.

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Debt relief for an additional nine African nations appears to be on the table as well, added to to the 18 already forgiven. African leaders had been hoping for debt writeoffs for all African nations.

The G8 are also promising a new peacekeeping force for Africa, as long as there is an answering commitment by African leaders to democracy, good governance, and rule of law.

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