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.
On Climate Change
Antonio Hill, Oxfam spokesperson, said: “The G8 might have agreed to avoid cooking the planet by more than two degrees, but they made no attempt to turn down the heat any time soon.
“It is disappointing that G8 leaders are ignoring what they must do now to limit warming below 2 degrees. This limit commits the G8 to follow the science which is good. But 2050 is too far off to matter -- poor people are being hit today. We must see emissions cuts of at least 40% by 2020 and G8 money to help the poorest countries cope with climate chaos.
“Unless the G8 come up with at least $150 billion to help poor countries adapt to the killer effects of climate change and to stop things getting any worse there will be no deal in Copenhagen in December. Brown has led the way by recognizing the scale of what is needed and the rest of the G8 must follow his lead.”
On Development, Aid and Trade
On failure to meet aid promises
Emma Seery, Oxfam spokesperson, said: “The buck stops here. The failure of the G8 to deliver the $50 billion in aid promised to poor countries is a crisis of credibility which will cost 3 million lives. What is the G8 for if they will not show leadership to save the lives of millions? They have two days left to show us their emergency plan to meet their broken promise.”
On the economic crisis hitting poor countries
Jeremy Hobbs, Oxfam International executive director, said: “Because of the economic mess caused by the G8's irresponsible financial management, economic growth in Africa in 2009 will drop from 7% to 1% which will cost them $245 billion dollars. Their failure to deliver promised aid amounts to criminal negligence. It is like pushing someone into dangerous waters and then refusing to save them.
“There may be some green shoots in the rich world, but the pain in the poorest countries is getting worse by the day. This economic crisis in poor countries is a matter of life and death.”
So far rich countries have found a staggering 8.4 trillion to bail out banks- 70 times global aid levels.
On Resumption of the Doha Round
Jeremy Hobbs, Oxfam International executive director, said: “Restarting Doha is important, but the deal currently on the table will not deliver for poor countries. Any new trade negotiations require a new deal that puts the poorest first.
“It's become an annual tradition for the G8 to talk about the importance of finishing the trade round – but that is all it is – talk.”
Gawain Kripke, Oxfam spokesperson, said: “Ending hunger should be on the G8 menu in Italy. Leaders must put new money on the table to improve agriculture and reverse the trend of increasing global hunger.
"Funding commitments should be specific and clarify what is new money rather than existing or reallocated. Playing accounting games with hunger is not funny.
“We already know that around 9 of the $13 billion they disbursed since January 2008 to tackle the food crisis, was nothing more than recycled cash. This is unacceptable with more than 1 billion people are going hungry. This G8 must not be business as usual, and take urgent action.“