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Heiligen-sham: the devil's in the detail

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So we are about to pack up the office and head home, and to be honest I am feeling pretty blue after the final G8 announcements today. Despite your efforts, and despite the efforts of people here in Germany, this year’s G8 was a missed opportunity.

A Cheap Promise, A Costly Decision

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The G8 today announced their decision on “a commitment of $60 billion for AIDS, TB and malaria money.” But beneath the spin, dazzling the world with numbers, in fact they have just ‘reannounced’ their existing aid budgets, with only $3 billion in new money. This is miles off the 2005 promise of $50 billion new aid a year needed to halve poverty, and while important in the fight against HIV / AIDS, should be seen for what it is – a small step when we need a big leap.

A night with Bono makes our heads even bigger!

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Hi there. This is the first Oxfam group blog from your favourite G8 Big Heads. Unlike the real G8, we have managed to get our official position together pretty quickly. The concert yesterday rocked!

So yesterday morning we were on the beach just chilling out. Merkel was trying to get us together to chat about important stuff, but we were all distracted by the sun and surf. Bush was busy building his sandcastle empire, and we were all lazing around.And then we got an unexpected phone call via our agent.

Video: G8 Big Heads on the beach

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[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/98SPMT_WRuE]

Has the G8 climate really changed?

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The G8 yesterday announced their agreement on climate change. And while it has the appearance of success, we here at Oxfam still have issues about what they’ve agreed.
I’ve only been working on climate change for a few months, but what I do know is that it’s already hitting people in developing countries first and worst. And without adequate money and the proper support systems to deal with the problem, these people will carry on suffering and it will only get worse – more droughts, more floods, more famine. More poverty.

Will I be on Page 3? Of the Financial Times of course...

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On the penultimate day of the G8 Summit, with world leaders having progressed few decisions on the fate of Africa and the world’s poor, Oxfam’s ‘Big Heads’ have been cavorting away their time in Germany on the beach outside the G8 Summit highlighting this potentially wasted opportunity.

In the Belly of the Beast

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Takumo Yamada of Oxfam Japan Takumo Yamada - our man on the inside - from Oxfam Japan

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So far, what we know is that nobody knows all that much! There is a standstill in discussions, and the national representatives who do a lot of the talking before the leaders arrive still can’t reach any kind of agreement.