Geldof attacks Italy's aid to Africa shortfall


June 18, 2010 Updated Jul 4, 2009 at 3:11 PM EDT

Pop star turned anti-poverty campaigner Bob Geldof on Saturday accused Italy, the host of next week's Group of Eight meeting in L'Aquila, of failing to keep its promises on aid to Africa.

"The credibility" of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi "is at stake," Geldof wrote in an article in the Italian daily La Stampa in which he said Italy had delivered only three percent of the aid it pledged at a G8 meeting in 2005.

"Who can believe in the credibility of a man who achieves only three percent of what he promised?" Geldof said.

"It is no use to say that times are difficult. It is the same all over the world," he added.

At its summit at Gleaneagles in Scotland in 2005, the G8 committed to increasing aid to Africa by more than 26 billion dollars by 2010.

After a number of downward revisions the figure was lowered to 21.8 billion dollars.

Last month, the advocacy group One set up by Irish rock star Bono said Italy and France were each so far behind on their aid pledges to Africa that they threatened to cause the entire G8 to miss its targets.

The group's 2009 DATA report said Italy had paid out only three percent of the aid increase it had promised.

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