< Send A Message to the G-20
15.09.2009 17:24 Age: 4 yrs
Category: Press Releases
Making the Grade for the World’s Poorest?
New Report Finds G-20 Falling Short of Development Pledges, Outlines Key Actions Needed at Pittsburgh Summit
Contact: Selena Shilad: 202-550-2547 or Margot Friedman at 202-332-5550
WASHINGTON, DC – Today the Jubilee USA Network, an alliance of 75 religious denominations and faith communities, human rights groups, and development agencies working for justice for the world’s poor, issued a report titled “Falling Short: A Progress Report on the G-20’s Commitments to the World’s Poorest.” The report calls on G-20 leaders to speed up progress to meet development commitments made at their April summit and to announce bolder steps to address the economic crisis faced by the world’s poorest countries at a gathering of world leaders next week.
The progress report was issued just ahead of the upcoming Summit that will be hosted by President Obama in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 24-25, 2009 with leaders from countries that represent 85 percent of the world’s economy.
Of the 13 goals the G-20 set for itself in April that are most critical for the world’s poorest, the report finds that the G-20 is on track to meet 5 goals, is failing to meet 4, and is unlikely to meet 4 without major attention. Of most concern, the report identifies that on only 1 of the 13 goals did the G-20 make a strong enough commitment in April to address the real need of the poorest and to meet the Millennium Development Goals, highlighting the urgency that the G-20 get back on track and make additional commitments for action at the Pittsburgh summit.
“The economic crisis is crushing the world’s poorest countries, but the G-20 is falling short,” said Neil Watkins, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network. “The G-20 must keep their promises and adopt even bolder measures to address the impact of the crisis on the poor. G-20 proposals have focused primarily on new loans to the developing world, which will only create more debt, leaving the governments of low income countries to divert resources from health care, clean water, and education to make exorbitant interest payments. Without a change in course, we are on the verge of a new debt crisis in the developing world.”
The report finds that the G-20 is off track on its pledges to strengthen financial supervision and regulation, to provide additional aid to low income countries for social protection and to meet the Millennium Development Goals, and is not meeting its pledge to increase support to low income countries through the international financial institutions.
The report further finds that, despite the urgent need in the poorest countries, only $23.5 billion of the $50 billion promised by the G-20 to low income countries has been delivered to date, with further resources unlikely to come quickly without greater political will.
The report specifically notes that only 0.14% of the resources committed by the G-20 to low income countries are in the form of debt relief, while 99.86% of this assistance is debt-creating, highlighting the potential for a new debt crisis among low income countries.
“The developing world, much like the financial institutions that have been propped up with bailout after bailout, is simply ‘too big to fail.’ Whether it’s turning the tide on the massive economic crisis that has affected every corner of our globe, or stemming the flow of illicit funds to tax havens around the world, the costs of inaction are simply too great,” concluded Watkins.
Some of the report’s key policy recommendations for the G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh include:
• Ensure that promises to fully deliver $50 billion in assistance to the poorest are delivered without further delay, without harmful conditions, and on grant terms.
• Institute a two-year moratorium on debt service payments by low income countries, and commit to deliver expanded debt cancellation to all poor countries whose debt levels currently prevent them from meeting their people’s basic needs and which struggle under a burden of odious and illegitimate debt.
• Insist upon far-reaching reforms in IMF and World Bank economic policy conditionality before delivering any further funding to these institutions.
• Take ambitious steps help finance the fight against climate change, which has disproportionate impacts on the poorest countries, by providing new, additional, predictable and adequate financial resources for adaptation, enhanced mitigation actions, technology sharing, and capacity building in developing countries.
The Progress report is available online here
The progress report, an analytical summary and more detailed analysis is available here.
Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of over 75 religious denominations, development agencies, human rights, and other organizations building the political will for poor country debt cancellation and more responsible global finance to fight global poverty.