Nairobi, 20 May 2022 (TDI): This year, up to a quarter of a billion people may fall into extreme poverty. This is because of the COVID-19 epidemic, the climate crisis, and the Ukraine conflict.
Global inequality is on the verge of blowing up unless more is done to properly address the problem. The G7, particularly the host German government, must take significant countermeasures.
They must be introduced at the future finance, development, and health ministerial sessions. The G7 meetup happened this week, from May 18 to 20. Debt relief and more development spending were among the demands made by Oxfam.
It states that patents on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments must be waived in order to end the pandemic. The G7 must also follow through on its promises to address the global climate issue.
Oxfam Germany’s Head of Social Justice, Tobias Hauschild stated that “The pandemic and climate crisis have exacerbated the already dramatic inequality worldwide.
This is now compounded by the crisis in Ukraine, the effects of which are making basic food products almost unaffordable in some countries. The G7 countries must keep and extend their commitments if they are not to completely lose their credibility. ”
Relief for low-income countries
For low-income countries, debt relief is critical. This year, the poorest countries on the globe must repay $43 billion in debt. Many are on the verge of going bankrupt, and some have even been compelled to stop food imports.
All G7 countries must finally meet their development investment targets of 0.7 percent of GDP. From 2023, Germany, for example, will see considerable reductions in development investment.
Only 17% of Africans have received even the most basic vaccine. Rich countries, on the other hand, are well into their booster programs. In light of this, it is critical to ensure that everyone has equal access to COVID-19 technology.
As a result, G7 countries should consider all options for diversifying vaccine and treatment manufacturing and supply. They must also support South Africa and India’s TRIPS waiver applications to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2020.
The German federal government and a few other wealthy nations are opposing this. Despite this, it has the support of over 100 countries. The EU’s latest draft, which is currently being debated, would make little difference.
This is due to the fact that it would exclude medicines and diagnostics and provide no legal assurance. It is also necessary to ensure that local vaccine production can begin as soon as possible.
As a result, the G7 governments must push for immediate technological transfer. They need to give the WHO’s mRNA center more financial support.
Tackling the Climate Crisis
The UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen in 2009 brought together the world’s most polluting industrialized nations. They agreed to expand their support for low-income nations’ climate efforts to $100 billion per year by 2020.
This goal, however, has not been met. There are few signs that it will happen anytime soon. In the future, Germany’s backing is unlikely to grow. This is in contradiction to the German Finance Minister’s goal for 2021.
Furthermore, wealthier countries have refused to address the damage already done by climate change. This is largely due to fear about compensation claims. The G7 nations are now debating a “Global Climate Risk Shield.”
This aims to increase the number of early-warning systems and climate risk insurance. This approach should not put additional strain on the countries impacted. Additional costs, such as premium payments for storm insurance, are an example.