Thursday, November 11, 2010

G-20 to announce change in poverty fighting strategy

The G-20 plans on releasing a statement that says they will change their approach to combating poverty. The G-20 will announce that they will begin to focus on creating private sector jobs. From now on, aid to governments will focus on building infrastructure.

South Korea did invite business executives to be guests to this years meeting, and perhaps this is what helped to spur the change. Meanwhile, NGO's were hoping for pledges of more money from the G-20.

From the Globe and Mail, writer Bill Curry and Kevin Carmichael received a leak of the G-20 statement.

The Globe and Mail has learned that South Korea has secured G20 support for a standalone communiqué dedicated to this business-focused approach to development. (While G20 officials have worked on the aid plan as a standalone package, it is not yet certain that it will remain a separate statement, or be wrapped in to the final communiqué.)

“An enduring and meaningful reduction in poverty cannot be achieved without inclusion, sustainability and resilient growth,” states a draft communiqué, dated Nov. 3 and obtained by The Globe. “We recognize the unique role of the private sector to create jobs and growth.”

The Seoul Consensus includes an opening statement of principles and then a larger, multi-year action plan. The plan envisions a larger role for development banks to encourage more investment for small businesses and more infrastructure spending by governments.

Aid groups welcomed South Korea’s efforts to make development a priority for the G20, yet noted there are no indications the G20 will announce new funds when the final communiqué is released Friday.

“It’s important that this meeting doesn’t get totally distracted completely by the currency question,” said Jeremy Hobbs, a spokesman for Oxfam International. Mr. Hobbs welcomed the focus that the South Koreans are putting on development, but that he expressed concern that there is little talk of concrete financial commitments.

“We need to see money,” he said.

1 comment:

Don Stoll said...

Hobbs' concern that financial commitments won't materialize seems well-founded, given that so far aid groups have seen only a small fraction of the $20 billion pledged to poor farmers over three years by world leaders at L’Aquila in 2009. The poor should prepare themselves for another "all hat, no cattle" showing by those leaders.