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.
Oxfam reaction: Draft G20 communiqué
Reacting to the draft G20 communiqué circulating on Monday 17th, Oxfam spokesperson Carlos Zarco said:
“The G20 is falling far short of what is needed on food security. Food security was supposed to be a priority for this summit, but the draft communiqué lacks any real vision on food. The G20 leaders have mostly re-stated decisions and initiatives taken at their last summit in Cannes.
“Business leaders here at the B20 in Mexico have made recommendations on tackling global food security which have put them ahead of the G20, who are failing to take leadership on the issue.
“G20 countries are merely invited 'to consider' options for curbing food price volatility, rather than taking the necessary action needed now to ensure biofuels don’t compete with food. This is despite clear evidence that biofuels are a driver of food price volatility and calls by multiple international agencies to scrap production targets and subsidies.
“There is no mention of small-scale farmers as central to increasing food productivity and security - despite the fact that there are 200 million small family farms in G20 countries, and that they must be supported.
“The Sahel crisis is mentioned in the communiqué, but investment in sustainable agriculture, measures for social protection and building food reserves are notably absent.”
“Despite major donors’ aid to developing countries having fallen massively this year, the G20 communiqué says nothing about financing poverty eradication and climate change adaptation in developing countries.
“G20 leaders have previously affirmed their commitment to meet aid targets each time they met. This year that promise is conspicuously absent.
“There has been no progress on new sources of financing for development, despite strong options presented to the G20 by Bill Gates last year.
“The G20 needs to move forward with solutions for raising finance for development, such as taxing shipping emissions and implementing a financial transactions tax.
“More than 18 million people in the Sahel region are facing a severe food crisis, and this communiqué is dangerously light on helping the world’s poorest and most vulnerable outside of Europe.”
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