Amidst a global economic crisis threatening to relegate 53 million more African people into extreme poverty and set back the fight again s t poverty by up to three years, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals ( MDG) Campaign charged the G-20 leaders meeting in London from Thursday to commit
to measures to “bail out” the world’s poor without pre-conditions that will esca l ate indebtedness.
In a statement made available to PANA here, the agency said, “the global economi c crisis threatens the very livelihoods of the 1.4 billion people around the wor l d who are living in extreme poverty and will be hardest hit of all if Group of 2 0 rich countries’ leaders do not address their problems on 2 April.”
It said more than 130 million people have so far been pushed into extreme povert y as a result of soaring food and fuel prices in 2008.
“This is particularly cruel and unjust, given that the crisis is of the rich wor ld’s making. G-20 leaders must stick to their commitments to meet the Millennium Development Goals and marshal resources, which do not exacerbate the poor countries’ crises.
“Rich countries must keep their commitments to allocate 0.7 per cent of their Gr oss National Income to aid, ensure the participation of the world’s poorest in i n ternational decision making and reject protectionist measures,” the statement no t ed.
To address the global emergency, the Millennium Campaign has called on G-20 lead ers to “provide additional resources to help poor countries handle the crisis, b u t not let these solutions become part of the problem.”
It also wants the rich nations to ensure that re-structured international financ ial institutions are representative of the world’s poor.
“Poor countries must have a greater voice and representation in international fi nancial institutions in order to ensure greater equity,” it said.
It added that the “economic crisis manufactured in rich countries” should not be used as an excuse to renege on their aid commitments to poor countries.
According to the statement, “the OECD member countries of the G-20 must re-affir m their previous commitments to allocate 0.7 per cent of their gross national in c ome for development assistance and establish transparent, time-bound calendars f o r the disbursement of these funds.”