The truth about the G8 leaders was revealed today in Huntsville. Although maternal health is touted as being a priority at this year’s Summit, the reality is that 350,000 women continue to die each year in childbirth. Over the two days of Summit negotiations, another 2.000 women and girls will die unnecessarily. The Oxfam Big Heads sent a strong message to the world as they gathered around a real lake: G8 leaders it’s time to turn over a new leaf - a new maple leaf that is - and keep your promises. The Big Heads drew media attention this morning at The Cottage in Huntsville by hiding behind a big banner stating, “Keep Your Promises.” After short deliberations, they decided to revert to old tactics of broken promises exposing them for who they really are by letting the banner slip. The Big Heads were left standing, desperately trying to conceal themselves - only their most intimate parts were covered by skimpy maple leaves. Broken promises don’t make nutritious meals, buy school books or life-saving medicines. We don’t need more talk; we need action. Five years ago, leaders gathered at the G8 Summit in Gleneagles, Scotland responded to growing public pressure to fight poverty and pledged to increase overseas aid by $50 billion by 2010, with $25 billion of this going to Africa. But five years later, they have come up $20 billion short. The G8 should pledge to provide half that sum, $10 billion annually in new money, and to spell out that it will address the discriminatory barriers that deny women quality healthcare. An emergency plan is now needed to get us back on track. G8 leaders must not sweep these promises under the rug.
We demand that the negotiations in Muskoka mark a turning point in Summit history by going beyond talk to committing new money to tackling maternal mortality worldwide.
Watch the full slideshow: Naked Truth: Oxfam's Big Heads at the G8, Hunstville, Canada