In a few days time, the leaders of seven of the world’s richest countries will meet in Germany for a global summit. Together they are known as the G7 and the decisions they make will affect us all.
(If you’re thinking ‘What on earth is the G7?’ – read this handy explainer.)
In between the photo calls, diplomatic handshakes and ‘let’s walk this way’ gestures we see in the media, they’ll be having serious conversations about the global economy and tackling extreme poverty and climate change. What they agree could literally change the lives of millions of people living in the poorest countries.
That’s why our members have been campaigning loudly, and our policy experts have been lobbying governments behind the scenes for weeks now.
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Here are the 7 big things we’re asking the G7 for action on:
1. Girls and Women
Why: No matter how you cut it – socially, economically, legally – girls and women in the poorest countries get a raw deal. But when allowed to reach their full potential, they lift themselves, their families and even entire countries out of poverty faster.
What: The G7 should put girls and women at the heart of development, supporting bold projects that will make a real difference. They must focus on the specific needs of girls and women in agriculture, health, personal finance and technology.
2. Show us the money
Why: Just 4 weeks after the G7 summit, global heads of finance are heading to a big meeting in Addis Ababa, to decide exactly how much money goes into the pot marked ‘fighting poverty’ for the next 15 years. Only one G7 country – the UK – has kept it’s promise to spend 0.7% of national income on aid, and on average, less than 30% of global aid is going to the very poorest countries.
What: The G7 must keep their promise to spend just 0.7% of national budgets on aid, and make sure at least half of that goes to the least developed countries.
Why: Two thirds of people across Africa rely on farming to make a living. So it’s not surprising that investing in agriculture is one of the best ways to tackle poverty – growth here is 11 times more effective than growth in other sectors. Africa has the potential to feed itself, but right now too many people don’t get the food they need to stay healthy.
What: The G7 must promise to invest $15 billion in agriculture every year to tackle hunger and malnutrition.
Why: We’ve made massive steps forwards in the last few years. We reached the tipping point on AIDS, which means more people are now receiving treatment that being diagnosed, and deaths from malaria have been halved. But too many people in poor countries still can’t get the healthcare they need and the recent Ebola outbreak exposed just how weak many health systems are.
What: The G7 must help developing countries provide enough qualified doctors and nurses to treat everyone. They must also fully fund partnerships like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, and GAVI the Vaccines Alliance which have already saved millions of lives and could save even more.
5. Open data
Why: This one’s a game changer. The money African countries generate themselves far outstrips international aid, but a staggering $1 trillion is siphoned out of developing countries every year. It’s a global scandal that involves both rich and poor countries. Better quality and open data would allow citizens to follow the money and hold governments to account – and make sure more of it gets spent on health, education and other public services.
What: The G7 should support legislation that makes businesses and governments publish what they pay, especially in the oil, gas and minerals sector. They should support developing countries to increase their own budgets by strengthening their tax systems.
6. Global Goals
Why: In September, world leaders will agree new global goals for a brighter future for people and planet. If they are strong enough, we could end extreme poverty by 2030.
What: The G7 should make sure these goals are focussed – clear, evidence based and implementable – as well as financed, with enough money behind them to make achieving them possible.
7. Be #MoreThanHotAir
Why: Pledges and promises are great, but we want to see real action that leads to real change. Our 6 million members, including more than 2 million across Africa, will be watching and ready to hold the G7 to account.
What: Whatever pledges G7 leaders make to the world’s poorest people, they should be #MoreThanHotAir. We want detailed plans of how they’ll follow up and make change actually happen.