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.
A High Level Advisory Group to explore new and innovative ways of raising $100 billion a year to help poor countries adapt to a changing climate and reduce their emissions was launched by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon today.
Oxfam International warned that the Group must be about action – not talk. The international agency said it must to come up with concrete, actionable recommendations in time for the next round of Climate Change talks in Mexico at the end of the year. Getting climate funds flowing is a critical first step towards keeping global emissions under control; helping the world’s poor and vulnerable cope with an already changing climate; and rebuilding trust between rich and poor countries after the chaos of Copenhagen.
The Group will be co-chaired by Prime Ministers Brown and Zenawi however other members, and the extent of the Panel's remit, is unclear.
Oxfam said that the climate cash must be additional to rich countries' overseas aid commitments and that at least $200 bn per year of public funding is needed every year by 2020 – $100bn for adaptation and $100bn for mitigation – if the needs of developing countries are to be met. Oxfam is also calling for the money to be channelled through the UN so that poor countries have an equal say in how it should be spent.
Hundreds of millions of people around the world are already struggling to cope with a changing climate. It is estimated that 375 million people may be at risk of climate-related disasters by 2015 – more than the entire population of the United States.
Robert Bailey, Climate Advisor for Oxfam International said:
“The $100 bn has to start flowing soon – poor countries desperately need this money to cope with a changing climate and reduce their emissions, and rich countries need to show that they can be trusted to deliver on their promises of climate action. Trust must be rebuilt if a global climate deal is to be achieved.
“The high level panel cannot be another talking shop. At the end of this year it must make concrete recommendations on how the $100 bn should be raised, how much countries must contribute and how the money should be managed. It must make the decisions politicians failed to make in Copenhagen.
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