The US reportedly wants the G8 summit, which gets underway today, to commit ten billion euros to help fight food insecurity in developing countries.
The funds would be pooled in a global agriculture and food security trust fund managed by the World Bank. The EU has welcomed the news and pledged an extra 700 million euros on top of the five billion it has already promised. G8 host Silvio Berlusconi said he expected the money to be donated: “We are going to get a large amount, between 5 and ten million euros, to help all those people throughout the world who are suffering from hunger.” Berlusconi also dismissed allegations printed in the UK newspaper The Guardian that the organisation of the summit in the earthquake-hit town of L’Aquila had been chaotic: “The paper has made a huge blunder, because their sources are referring to the preparations for the G20 summit in Pittsburgh. It’s a big blunder by a small paper.” The topics due to be discussed in L’Aquila over the next three days range from climate issues to Iran and the Middle East peace process. However the behind the scenes grumbling about the alleged poor organisation and lack of a coherent agenda has reportedly led to suggestions that Italy should be expelled from the G8 grouping and replaced by Spain.