This is IN THE NEWS in VOA
of the world's wealthiest nations have promised twenty billion dollars to
increase food security in poor countries. The promise came Friday on the third
and final day of the Group of Eight summit meeting in L'Aquila, Italy.
The aim is to help fight world
hunger through agricultural development programs. The announcement followed
talks between G8 leaders and leaders from Africa. The United States has
promised three and a half billion dollars toward the three-year program.
A statement noted that while food
prices have decreased from their peak last year, they remain high in historical
terms. And the economic crisis has only pushed even more people into poverty.
The United Nations Food and
Agriculture Organization welcomed the announcement. But some activists say they
are waiting for more details. Aid groups have been calling on the G8 nations to
honor past promises of food and development assistance.
G8 summit also dealt with the world recession. President Obama said the leaders
agreed that full recovery is still a long way off.
issue was climate change. G8 leaders met with partners from major developing
economies, including India, China and Brazil. All agreed that global
temperatures should not rise by more than an average of two degrees Celsius
above pre-industrial levels.
members promised to work toward an eighty percent cut in heat-trapping
pollution by two thousand fifty. Developing nations have committed themselves
to negotiating cuts, but have not yet agreed on details.
President Obama said the results were "historic" and helped improve
the chances for international negotiations later this year. But U.N.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the targets are too far in the future and
that more needs to be done sooner.
issues included Iran, North Korea and stopping the spread of nuclear weapons.
President Hu Jintao did not attend this week's meeting. He returned home
because of the ethnic violence in the Xinjiang area in northwest China.
summit was moved from an island to the area in central Italy where a powerful
earthquake struck just three months ago. Nearly three hundred people were
killed and tens of thousands lost their homes. Many of the world leaders visited
some of the worst-hit areas.
L'Aquila there was also much talk about the future of the G8. The eight are
Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and the most
recent addition, Russia. President Obama visited Russia on his way to Italy.
Some leaders, including Mister Obama, agreed that the group must expand to deal
with today's world.
president also met Friday with Pope Benedict at the Vatican. Then he headed for
a final stop with his family -- Ghana. His father came from Kenya. But the
White House says he chose Ghana for his first presidential visit to Africa
south of the Sahara because of what he considers its strong democratic system.
And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA
Special English. I'm Steve Ember.