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.
Development Committee & Verdict on the 2014 Spring Meetings
Oxfam’s Nicolas Mombrial said:
“These meetings were a status update on the state of the global economy, but failed to come up with a plan for tackling inequality. Hard decisions about how to change the way international financial institutions do business have been deferred.
“The World Bank and IMF talk about inequality as a threat to growth and social stability, but they’re not yet offering solutions.
“The IMF says it’s trying to figure out how to deal with inequality and foster inclusive growth, but we’re overdue for an answer.
“Rather than promoting austerity, the IMF should support poor countries to keep up social sector spending, and to bolster inclusive growth. There will be no inclusive growth if economic inequality remains out of control.
“The World Bank has received a significant boost, with its coffers topped up to the tune of $52 billion. More money for development is good but the quality of World Bank lending needs to improve.
“The private sector has an important role but the Bank’s private sector arm, the IFC, must be reformed. Quality must take precedence over quantity in the Bank’s investments, and come with jobs for the poorest people, not just profits for corporations.
“The Development Committee’s recognition that human development is important for growth is very welcome. To back human development, Bank and Fund should promote investment in free and public services for the poorest.”
Note to Editors:
Oxfam’s January report "Working for the Few" revealed that just 85 people owned the same wealth as the bottom half the world’s population. Since then, Forbes has updated its “billionaires’ list”, showing that extreme inequality has worsened– just 67 people at the top now own half the wealth.