A development charter for the G20

23 March 2009

The global recession will cost developing countries $750 billion in lost income this year and an estimated 90million more people will be pushed into absolute poverty as a result. For the first time in nearly two decades, the number of people around the world suffering from hunger has increased. The G-20 cannot solve these problems at the London Summit next week, but its members can chose to promote development efforts rather than hinder them. A new report from the Overseas Development Institute shows them how.

'A Development Charter for the G-20', launched in London today, addresses the policy challenge of restoring growth and development in the world’s poorest economies during the recession, to ensure progress in development is not lost.

As well as suggesting ideas for better financial regulation and new financial rules, the charter calls for clear commitments to maintain or increase aid pledges and to resist trade and labour protectionism. The G-20 should also consider ways to promote social protection for the most vulnerable and use the opportunity to reassess the structure and effectiveness of the aid system. A fiscal stimulus from rich countries to developing countries – $50 billion for sub-Saharan Africa – is necessary to help provide the infrastructure needed to restore growth and help developing economies recover from the crisis.

ODI Director - Simon Maxwell - said:

"The agenda for the London Summit next week may be busy, but the G-20 will ignore development issues at their peril. The global crisis, which started in the developed world but is affecting the whole world, requires a truly global solution. We are very much in it together.

"Strengthening developing countries’ economies by providing a fiscal stimulus and avoiding trade protection will not only offset the impact of the crisis in the poorest countries, but will also help developed countries seeking export markets.

"All eyes will be on London next week, as the real effects of the recession deepen. The G-20 members must be accountable for the decisions they make to the 172 countries and the two billion people not represented in London."