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.
Finance ministers and central bankers from the G20 nations met in London on Saturday, as a preparatory session for the G20 summit in Pittsburgh later this month, and to lay the groundwork for the Copenhagen climate talks in December. Proposals for a cap on the size of bonuses were rejected at the meeting.
Max Lawson, Oxfam senior policy adviser, said:
"It is disappointing that G20 Finance Ministers put the issue of bankers' bonuses ahead of the needs of millions of poor people suffering as a result of the economic crisis.
"If the G20 was serious about making banks work for ordinary people they would have agreed a global tax on currency transactions. Such a tax could raise up to $50bn for millions of people pushed into poverty because of bankers' greed. It is time bankers gave a bonus to the poor.
"It is good that the G20 has for the first time recognized the need to tackle tax havens in a multilateral manner. Warm words must be turned into concrete action at Pittsburgh."
Robert Bailey, Oxfam senior policy adviser, said: "This is another missed opportunity to agree a funding package to help poor people adapt to climate change and developing countries to cut CO2 emissions.
"While rich countries avoid their responsibilities, negotiations remain blocked, time to broker a deal is ticking away and more and more poor people are suffering floods, food shortages and extreme weather linked to climate change."