Africare News Release

 

Africare President Julius E. Coles attends UN Meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown

Participants Discuss Call to Action for Millennium Development

 


Washington, DC, April 22, 2008­—Africare President Julius E. Coles recently attended a UN Millennium Development Goals business meeting in honor of the Washington visit of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Chaired by David Lane of The ONE Campaign, the meeting brought together a number of influential people from both the public and private sectors at the British Embassy in Washington.

In addition to Prime Minister Brown and President Coles, attendees included Congresswoman Nita Lowey, Gates Foundation’s Geoffery Lamb, Sebastian Mallaby of the Council on Foreign Relation, Dina Powell of Goldman Sachs’ and InterAction’s Sam Worthington, among others.

The meeting explored a number of issues concerning development, primarily in Africa, and assessed the progress of the programs on the continent directed towards the Millennium Development Goals.

President Coles raised concerns about the need to restore balance to the allocation of resources in order to make greater strides in reaching the MDGs. “Most donors give funds to mitigate HIV/AIDS yet there is an equal need to channel resources towards food and water sanitation especially for the people of Africa,” Coles said.

There was a call for more private sector participation in development. Attendees brain-stormed about how to target future international summits, including the G8 Summit being held later this year in Japan and the September Millennium Development Goals Summit in New York, for further discussion on this critical topic.

In response to comments about the current effectiveness of international financial organizations, it was agreed upon that there is need to reform these institutions now seen as out dated on global financial issues.  Coles contended that structural changes in these institutions should be made with a greater role allocated to middle and low income countries.

All agreed that a follow-up meeting of this particular group for further discussion on the points raised would be beneficial.

Africare is a leading non-profit organization specializing in African aid. It is also the oldest and largest African-American led organization in that field. Since its founding in 1970, Africare has delivered more than $710 million in assistance and support — over 2,500 projects and millions of beneficiaries —to 36 countries Africa-wide. Africare has its international headquarters in Washington, DC, with field offices currently in some 25 African countries.