Last week G7 leaders gathered at their yearly Summit, took some photos and made promises that the world has (for the most part) already heard from them.
While the world’s most powerful leaders dined out on curated vegan menus at the G7 meetings, hundreds of millions of people plunged further into one of the worst food crises that the world has ever seen.
Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, nearly 800 million people around the world were facing or were at risk of chronic hunger. Now, seven months into the year, U.N. chief Antonio Guterres is projecting multiple famines as food security is wrecked by soaring commodity prices, unstable supply chains, and a deeply unequal recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Each day that passes compounds problems that have been brewing for years – from the climate emergency, to multiple and increasing global conflicts, and the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the Russian war continues to increase supply pressures on commodities like grain.
The Canadian government announced some relief: $250 million to address the global food crisis, building on earlier commitments made this year. But the total $4.5 billion announced at the G7 barely begins to cover it – and is only a fraction of what the World Food Program has stated they need not only to manage the crisis today, but to manage the future impacts that are on the horizon.
As the G7 claws our way out of the health and financial devastation of COVID-19, we once again see the world’s richest and most powerful leaving the most vulnerable in the dust. We know that these crises no longer stop at borders, as hunger deepens in the global south the reverberating impacts can be felt throughout the world.
We need our leaders to act swiftly, we need our leaders to act in a way that demonstrates impact, not just words and platitudes. This weekend’s G7 was a start, but there’s still more to be done:
- Fully fund the WFP’s call for $21.5 billion in response to the global food crisis.
- Fill the $13 billion gap in funding needed to deliver the key tools, including vaccines, in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.
- Action and recycle the $100 billion of SDRs for vulnerables countries to take up the fiscal space to tackle local crises.
- Leadership on efforts to reduce the debt burden on the world’s most vulnerable countries.
As we celebrate the commitment made by the Prime Minister, we must remind ourselves that much more is urgently needed!
Together, we can use our voices to help Canada save the lives of people in need!