8 July 2017

Africa: The Poor an Afterthought At the Hamburg G20

Photo: Rasande Tyskar/flickr
Refugees and their supporters took to the streets of Hamburg ahead of the G20 summit.
press release

Reacting to the outcome of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Steve Price-Thomas, Oxfam's director of advocacy and campaigns, said:

"When looking at the outcomes of the Hamburg summit, we have to ask: 'what did the G20 do to help the world's poorest people?'

"Sadly, the answer is 'not much.' The needs of the poorest were an afterthought. Despite the anger of many on the streets at the growing divide between the rich and poor, the G20 could only muster a tepid set of policies to tackle poverty and inequality.

"For example- for the G20 to support a 'blacklist' of tax havens that lists just one country is breathtaking, and shows just how low the bar is for them to claim success. Corporate tax dodging siphons billions from government coffers and leaves health and education budgets dry.

"Famine is the most brutal expression of poverty. While we're pleased the United States has joined the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Germany in having made substantial commitments towards emergency relief for the 'Four Famines,' there's still a massive humanitarian funding gap left to fill. Furthermore, the conflicts at the root of some of the crises haven't even been discussed in earnest by this group."

"Instead, leaders discussed the 'Compact with Africa,' an initiative which rests on the dangerously naive assumption that boosting private investment will automatically help the poorest in the continent. If left unchecked, the Compact might simply line the pockets of wealthy foreign investors.

"With the other 19 members firmly defending the Paris Agreement as 'irreversible,' President Trump's stubborn insistence on propping up the fossil fuel industry leaves him isolated and stuck in the past."

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