A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Speaking ahead of the G20 summit in los Cabos, Mexico, Oxfam spokesperson Steve Price-Thomas said:
“Europe’s crisis must be fixed because it is becoming a serious drain on developing countries already reeling from volatile food prices and aid cuts. But it’s not good enough for the G20 to fixate on Europe and forget about the rest of the world.
“We’re hoping for progress on crises countries outside of Europe are grappling with. More than half the world’s poorest people live in G20 countries, and leaders have a responsibility to them as well. The G20 needs to take urgent action to curb commodity speculation. Food volatility is out of control, and is a serious threat to the livelihoods of billions across the globe.
“The G20 must use their power to address fundamental economic issues beyond Europe. Whether or not they do so is a political choice.
“The G20 is failing to address the most important drivers of the food price crisis: increased demand for biofuels, financial speculation on commodities, and climate change. In the Sahel alone 18 million people face a severe food shortage and donors have so far failed to come up with adequate funding to help those going hungry.
“Three years ago, the G20 launched a framework for “strong, sustainable and balanced growth”. They meet in Los Cabos not having achieved this and having done very little about the causes of the crisis which the rich world has inflicted on poor countries.”
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