United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday that development aid would have to increase to 18 billion dollars a year if the world was to remain on track to achieving a set of anti-poverty goals by 2015, reported dpa.
Countries have committed to eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, and Ban's comments came ahead of a high-level meeting on stepping up global efforts to reach the MDGs in New York on September 25.
Ban said Thursday's assessment report entitled, Delivering on the Global Partnership for Achieving the Millennium Development Goals, sounded "a strong alarm."
"While there has been progress on several counts, delivery on commitments made by member states has been deficient, and has fallen behind schedule," he told a news conference.
"We are already in the second half of our contest against poverty. We are running out of time."
The report said that although donor countries increased development assistance in the last eight years, the flow of aid has actually declined - by 4.7 per cent in 2006 and a further 8.4 per cent in 2007.
Last year, there was a shortfall of 10 billion dollars, Ban said. The total aid from wealthier nations was only 0.28 per cent of their combined Gross National Income, as opposed to the UN target of 0.7 per cent.
"If we are to meet the 2010 target set at the G-8 Summit in 2005, ODA (official development assistance) will have to increase by 18 billion dollars a year. Of that, 7.3 billion dollars would have to go to Africa," the secretary general said.
The MDGs call for eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education and promoting gender equality by 2015. Other goals call for reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS and malaria, ensuring environmental sustainability and creating a global partnership for development by that date.