Media Contact:Laura Blank
CANNES, France, 3 November 2011 — If you were a woman like Kadidja born in Niger, you would never have a chance to talk to the G20 leaders or vote in a referendum about the measures they are discussing, but you’d have to live with their decisions. Kadidja lives in a hot, dry, dusty nation in west central Africa — her children are among the 15 per cent suffering from acute malnutrition. She is struggling to keep her family alive on meals that consist of little more than millet porridge. According to the United Nations’ Human Development Index, only two countries of 172 are worse off than Niger, and the people are still reeling from a massive food and nutrition crisis in 2010.
Luckily, you don’t face this situation. But your governments can make a profound difference for those who do.
Tuesday’s news from Greece has again captured the attention of the world and the G20 leaders. Since 2008, 100 million people have been thrust into extreme poverty as the global economy faltered. The situation is complex and unjust in many ways. But when you strip away the various views of the reasons behind the Euro-zone crisis and the Greek referendum, one thing is clear. In the global south, there are billions of people directly affected by the financial crisis and the G20’s actions who won’t have a direct voice in the proceedings. World Vision’s staff and partners in developing countries are calling on the G20 to prioritize action on food security at this Cannes Summit and ensure that efforts focus on improving nutrition for children. Solving fiscal deficit issues is important, but it can’t be done by ignoring development which represents just a fraction of G20 budgets. It is immoral and unwise to put the financial future of some children above the lives of others.
Today, the leaders of the world’s largest economies will meet to tackle global issues. G-20 nations together represent two thirds of the world's population and as much as 90 percent of the global economy. This group of leaders has the means and responsibility to champion a global economic system that works for children and families living in poverty — a system that finally eradicates global tragedies like malnutrition, hunger, and preventable child and maternal deaths. All of these tragedies are related to poverty, and all of them are magnified by economic crises.
In 2008-09, people living in poverty around the world were hit hard by a deadly combination of high food prices and a financial crisis. The impact on poor people was clear: 100 million more people were thrust into extreme poverty, which often means less food for households to eat, poor nutrition for children, and fewer children in school.
The signs are here again. Fears of another global financial crisis are looming. Food prices remain high and spiked again earlier this year, adding 44 million more people to the ranks of the chronically hungry, according to the World Bank. The Horn of Africa food crisis was in part driven by higher food prices, and the international response has been inadequate as many donor countries struggle to deal with declining economies at home.
- END -
About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit www.worldvision.org/press.