Meeting of G7 members held in Hiroshima, Japan, in 2023. (Photo: Reproduction)

The British humanitarian NGO fighting hunger and inequality Oxfam analyzed the meeting of the G7, a group of the seven largest economies in the world, in Hiroshima (Japan). The Japanese city, symbol of the fight against warmongering, hosted the meeting of world leaders and the results of the meeting between the heads of state were disappointing, according to Max Lawson, director against inequality at Oxfam.

“The G7 countries failed the Global South here in Hiroshima. They failed to cancel debts and failed to find a way to deal with the huge increase in hunger around the world. They have billions to finance wars, but they don’t provide even half of what the UN needs to stop the most critical humanitarian crises.”

hunger and debt

“If the G7 really wants closer ties with developing countries and greater support for the war in Ukraine, asking the leaders of the Global South to get together for a few hours is not going to cut it. They need to cancel debts and do what it takes to end hunger.

“Countries in the Global South are being crippled by a massive food and debt crisis. Hunger today is increasing faster than in recent decades across the world. In East Africa, two people die of hunger every minute. These countries pay more than $200 million a day to the G7 and their bankers, money they could spend feeding their populations.

“The money they say they will provide for the world’s growing humanitarian crises is not even half of what the UN is asking to stop world hunger. In addition, the G7 loves to inflate the numbers of the amount available to face this problem”, says the director of Oxfam.

“This food and debt crisis are knock-on effects of the war in Ukraine. If the G7 wants the support of the Global South, they need to act on these issues – they must cancel debt and force private banks to participate in canceling those debts, and they must increase funding to end hunger around the world.”

Climate changes

“The G7 owes the Global South $8.7 trillion for the devastating loss and damage caused by its excessive carbon emissions.

Release of polluting gases from the factory chimney. (Photo: reproduction)

“It is good that developed countries recognize the need to keep the Earth’s temperature rise to just 1.5 degrees Celsius and commit to this goal. The G7 blames the developing world, but they don’t contribute to achieving this goal either,” says Lawson.

“They say they will finance less the use of fossil fuels, but they use the war in Ukraine as an excuse to continue using oil and gas. The G7 needs to stop using fossil fuels immediately – the planet is on fire.”
“The G7 had a speech at the ready on how to deal with the pandemic and how to prevent the prevalence of pharmaceutical industry profits over human health. Still, millions died needlessly from the lack of covid vaccines. Given the 27% chance that we will have another pandemic within a decade, this omission is appalling.”

Still on debt, food and hunger

“More than half of the Global South’s debt payments go to the G7 or to private banks in G7 countries. More than $230 million a day is flowing into the G7. Countries are bankrupt, spending much more on debt than on health or food. Debt payments have grown a lot as countries in the Global South borrow in dollars – rising interest rates are oversizing these payments.

“The G7 saying that it supports the temporary suspension of debt payments for countries affected by climate disasters is a positive thing, but they can go further: cancel these debts. Money is flowing from the Global South to the G7 countries – this wrong direction,” concluded Lawson.

Published on the Oxfam website. Translated by Charles Nisz

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