The G8 and G20 summits in Toronto had to cover up splits between governments over economic policy.
But the global leaders were united in abandoning hugely-hyped pledges to increase aid to the world’s poorest.
At the Gleneagles G8 meeting five years ago the richest nations pledged to give $50 billion more aid by 2010—and that much of it would go to Africa.
Less than half of it has been delivered—and in Toronto, the pledge wasn’t even mentioned.
“The G8’s failure will leave a sad legacy of kids out of school, denied medicines for the sick, and no food for the hungry,” said Mark Fried, spokesperson for Oxfam.
With total G8 aid frozen, its $5 billion commitment to maternal health will be taken from other vital areas such as education and food.
World leaders rejected a “Robin Hood tax”.
This would use a tiny levy on bankers’ financial dealings to raise billions of pounds for public services and the world’s poor.
Plans to demand banks put up funds to cover the costs of future bailouts were outlined in only the vaguest terms—and won’t be implemented for years.
Fear of a double dip recession stalked the summit, but G20 heads agreed to cut budget deficits in half by 2013.
US fears that this might plunge the world into slump meant the summit declaration also said economic policy had to be “tailored to national circumstances”.
By calling for cuts and slashing aid, the summits sentenced hundreds of thousands of the poor to death to boost profits.