A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
The G20 Summit is officially underway in sunny Los Cabos, Mexico. The usual tourists in San Jose del Cabo (one of the two towns of Los Cabos) have been replaced by camera crews, journalists, and development junkies all abuzz with the issue of the day: the euro crisis. But what Oxfam and other major organizations are campaigning for is for G20 leaders to think much broader than the European Union. That means fixing the systematic problems that keep people living in poverty and hunger by enhancing food security, taking firm steps to reduce inequality, taking action to stop tax dodging, and implementing innovative ways of raising finance for development - like the Robin Hood Tax.
To make the message clear, Oxfam held a stunt in which G20 leaders were at a “working lunch”, a common event at G20 summits, at a beautiful restaurant overlooking Cabo San Lucas. During the lunch, Mexican President Felipe Calderon presented the rest of the leaders with their to-do list. The list displayed obvious objectives to fulfill: reduce poverty, ensure food security, and establish a Robin Hood Tax to finance development and climate change adaptation... But most of the discussion at the summit has been around the Euro. What G20 leaders need to realize is that the Euro crisis is not just a European problem but a global one, as aid commitments to developing countries have fallen to dangerous lows, and poor countries are suffering from a crisis inflicted on them by the rich world.
Elsewhere in Los Cabos, there are plenty of things to do for G20 attendees and tourists alike. At the Cultural Pavilion in downtown Cabo San Lucas, Oxfam is showcasing a series of stunning photos of small-scale women farmers from Mexico, in association with World Vision. In Mexico, 52 million people live in poverty; that’s 46% of the total population. And over the past few years, food price spikes have hit them hard. The price of a tortilla has gone up 70% between 2005 and 2011. We hope that this photo exhibition inspires the public to join us in calling on G20 to take action on for a world without hunger.