REACTION: G7 has failed the Global South in Hiroshima

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Max Lawson, Oxfam’s Head of Inequality Policy, said:

“The G7 has failed the Global South here in Hiroshima. They can find untold billions to fight the war but can’t even provide half of what is needed by the UN for the most critical humanitarian crises.

“If the G7 really wants closer ties to the developing countries and greater backing from for the war in Ukraine, then asking Global South leaders to fly across the world for a couple of hours is not going to cut it. They need to cancel debts and do what it takes to end hunger.

“Countries of the Global South are being crippled by food and debt crises of huge proportions. Hunger has increased faster than it has in decades. In East Africa two people are dying every minute from hunger. Countries are paying over $200 million a day to the G7 and their bankers in debt repayments, money they could spend feeding their people instead.

“The money they say they will provide for the world’s rapidly growing humanitarian crises is not even half of what the UN is asking for, and it is not clear what if anything is new or additional.

“One positive step was the G7 saying they support clauses to temporarily suspend debt payments for those countries hit by climate disasters, this is a tribute to the work of Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley. But these food and debt crises are a direct knock-on effect of the Ukraine war. If the G7 wants support from the Global South they need to be seen to act on these issues. They must cancel debts and force private banks to participate in debt cancellation, and they must massively increase funding to end hunger and famine across the world.”

Notes to Editor

Over half of all debt payments from the Global South are going to the G7 or to private banks based in G7 countries, notably New York and London.

Over $230 million dollars a day is flowing into the G7.

Many countries are spending far more on debt than on health or food for their people. Debt payments have increased sharply as countries in the Global South borrow in dollars so rising interest rates are increasing the payments they must make.

UN OCHA current total requirement for humanitarian crises is $56 billion. The G7 communique says they will commit to providing over $21 billion in total to address the worsening humanitarian crises this year (paragraph 16).

Contact information

Joern Kalinski in Hiroshima, Japan | +491718360631 (inc. What’s App)

Max Lawson

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