Activists have accused rich nations of reneging on their pledges to double aid to Africa. The world’s poorest continent tops the agenda on the first day of the G8 summit in Japan, which will also discuss rising food and fuel prices and global warming.
In 2005 the G8 agreed to double aid to Africa by 2010 but it appears they will fall short by at least 25 billion euros.
The summit, in the remote lakeside resort of Toyako, follows a recent World Bank study that estimates that 105 million more people could drop below the poverty line due to rising food prices.
The venue has been sealed off by thousands of police – about 21,000 officers have been drafted in for the event – in a bid to keep demonstrators out of sight.
The security budget of some 180 million euros is far higher than the year before.
Protesters have gathered in a nearby city to demonstrate against the high costs of oil.
Oxfam campaigners dressed up as the G8 leaders to call on the eight countries to stop burning food for fuel.