Leaders and diplomats from the Group of Eight (G-8) major industrial nations are assessing each country’s aid to Africa, The Washington Post reports (washingtonpost.com 7/7). Several recent studies suggest the G-8 countries will miss the goal, set in 2005, to double developmental assistance to Africa to $50 billion annually unless nations reenergize their efforts.

“Donors are yet again ‘off track’ in delivering upon their commitments and, with every ‘off track’ year that passes, fully delivering the commitments by 2010 becomes more difficult,” the anti-poverty group Debt AIDS Trade Africa (DATA), reported last month.

The accountability plan is a breakthrough for the nonprofit groups that have lobbied the G-8 to more closely monitor the billions of dollars in aid promised Africa for fighting malaria, AIDS and other diseases.

“When people say they're [going to] make a pledge to feed the hungry or provide for the ill, that we ought to honor that pledge,” President George W. Bush told reporters at a news conference in Japan.

U.S. officials say they are on target to meet their goal of $8.7 billion in development assistance for sub-Saharan Africa by 2010, and independent groups confirmed those figures. DATA singled out France, Japan and Canada for having reduced their  aid. The United States, it suggested, was among G-8 countries that had made less ambitious pledges.