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UN’s Ban urges $300 billion in G20 aid for poor nations

  At least $300 billion of the $1.1 trillion stimulus package agreed by G20 leaders last week should be allocated toward helping developing countries, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Sunday.

He also called on the G20 to turn its summit pledges into “concrete action,” adding that the stimulus package agreed would help the world economy overcome the financial economic crisis.

“I believe that at least $300 billion should be going to official development assistance for developing countries, the most vulnerable countries, and this is very important,” Ban told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show at the conclusion of Thursday’s London summit.

The UN leader also played down criticism that Italy, which hosts the next meeting of leaders from the G8 countries in Sardinia in July, had failed to meet financial pledges to poor countries made four years ago at the Gleneagles summit.

Anti-poverty campaigner Bob Geldof said last week that Italy should be stripped of its G8 presidency for failing to meet its aid obligations. Ban said he had a “constructive” bilateral meeting with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at the London summit.

When asked if that meant Italy would provide more money for aid, Ban said: “I hope so.” He added that world leaders were aware that unless they managed the economic crisis properly, it could spill over into political instability.

“These commitments made by G20 leaders must be translated into a concrete action. This is what we have committed,” he said. “With this stimulus package, unprecedented stimulus package in the history of the world, I am quite confident that we will be able to overcome this economic crisis.” (Reuters)